|A close-packed tower of blossoms crowns these ground-dwelling Orchids. Most bloom in many shades of purple, some in red, yellow or white. The divided lip lobes form curious shapes, leading to such common names as Monkey Orchid, Lady Orchid, and Military Orchid. Some species have spotted leaves. Many natural hybrids are available. All grow from a pair of egg-shaped tubers -- one to nurture this year's growth, one for the next year. The Turkish people enjoy salep, a supposedly aphrodisiac drink made by boiling the tubers with milk and cinnamon. Best outdoors in temperate climates with deep to dappled shade, they do not do well in a greenhouse or tropical heat. Locate with care, as the roots are extremely sensitive -- even minor disturbance can kill the plant. Different species prefer acid, neutral or alkaline soil, but all need it moist and well-drained. Water well year-round, except for a 1-month rest period after blooming.
A 4-inch spire of deep purple flowers blooms in late spring. Purple blotches mark the shiny green leaves. Native of the Minnesota woods.
Attributes - Orchis spectabilis
Plant Type: Perennial
Bloom Season: Mid Spring through Mid Summer
Flower Color: Pink, White
Height: 6 in. to 10 in.
Width: 1 ft.
Sunlight: Partial Sun, Shade
Climate: Zones 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
Notes: Container Plants, Long Blooming, Showy Flowers.