The Roundleaf Orchid, Amerorchis rotundifolia orGalearis rotundifolia, is a beautiful and unique species of orchid that can be found in K-Country. This fascinating plant is known for its distinctive circular leaves and showy blooms. This makes it a popular subject for botanists, photographers, and nature enthusiasts alike.
The Roundleaf Orchid, also known as the Lesser Round-leaved Orchid or the Small Round-leaved Orchid, is a perennial herb that is native to North America. It grows to a height of 10-50 cm. It produces a single stem that is topped by a single, large circular leaf. The leaves are usually green or brownish-green in color. They have a distinctive raised rim that helps to distinguish the species from other types of orchids.
In late spring and early summer, the Roundleaf Orchid produces a spike of showy flowers. They can range in colour from green to white, pink, or purple. In K-Country, the vast majority are white with purple spots and fringes. Each flower has a distinctive lip that is often fringed or bearded. This lip is surrounded by a number of petals and sepals that form a cup-like structure. The blooms are highly fragrant. They are a favourite of many species of pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and moths.
Where to find them
The Roundleaf Orchid is found in a variety of habitats, so long as it’s damp. This includes bogs, fens, and moist, shady woods. In Kananaskis Country, it is commonly found along streams, in river valleys, and in areas that are subject to frequent spring flooding. The plant is highly dependent on the presence of moisture. It is often found growing in areas that are continuously wet throughout the growing season. Many Springs in Bow Valley Provincial Park is noted for them, but they can be found in any wet area.
The Roundleaf Orchid has a long history of cultural significance, and has been used by many cultures for medicinal and spiritual purposes. In North America, it has been used by Native American tribes as a cure for a wide range of ailments. These included respiratory problems, stomach problems, and skin conditions. The plant has also been used in traditional spiritual ceremonies. It was believed to have the power to bring good luck and peace. The roots have also been considered a strong aphrodisiac. In Europe in the 1700’s, a drink made from the roots (called Salep or Saloop) was more popular in taverns than beer!
See more of the beautiful flowers of K-Country here!