ghost orchid

Pale Grass Pink (Calopogon pallidus)

Part of the Florida's Native and Naturalized Orchids Website

  Kingdom:   Plantae - Plants
    Subkingdom:   Tracheobionta - Vascular Plants
      Superdivision:   Spermatophyta - Seed plants
        Division:   Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
          Class:   Liliopsida - Monocotyledons
            Subclass:   Liliidae - Lily/related subclass
              Order:   Orchidales - Orchid order
                Family:   Orchidaceae - Orchid Family
                  Subfamily:   Epidendroideae - Epidendroids
                    Tribe:   Arethuseae - Arethusoids
                      Subtribe:   Bletiinae - Bletia and related

Distribution Map:
Distribution map for Pale Grass Pink (Calopogon pallidus)
Synonyms: Helleborine pallida (Chapman) Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 665. 1891. Limodorum pallidum (Chapman) C. Mohr, Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 24: 23. 1897.

Summary: Terrestrial orchid bearing one leaf and a slender, wiry flowering stem with medium-small (one inch - 2.5 cm) tall flowers often a pale pink color. Flowers with narrow floral segments, giving a much more 'spidery' appearance compared to other members of this genus.

Common Name: Pale Grass Pink

Habitat: Moist, open pinelands, wet prairies, wet roadsides.

Flowering season: April through June (peaking in May)

Pale Grass Pink (Calopogon pallidus) - flower
Pale Grass Pink (Calopogon pallidus) - flower
Pale Grass Pink (Calopogon pallidus) - flowers
Pale Grass Pink (Calopogon pallidus) - flowers


This particular species is relatively common in moist, open bogs and pinelands, sharing the same habitat and blooming time as its larger cousin, Calopogon tuberosus. It can easily be distinguished by its smaller flowers borne on a slender stem with much narrower floral segments and flowers that tend toward a paler pink to white color and often have a slight fragrance. The petals often tend to reflex forward and the lateral sepals tend to reflex backward, giving the flower an overall narrow, elongated appearance. It also tends to have one or two flowers open at a time on a spike, quite often just one solitary flower. Although flowers are usually a pale pink color with washes of slightly darker pink, extremes from pure white (fma. albiflorus) to deep pink do occur.

Pollination happens in a similar fashion to other members of the Calopogon genus.

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