Orchids are often thought of as tropical and rainforest species, dazzling with their shapes and colors. However, these beautiful flowers are found all through Minnesota, including some diversity in the Sax-Zim Bog! Orchids can be found within the bog itself, or along the roadsides for species such as Yellow Ladyslipper or Ragged Fringed Orchid. Bogs hold a great diversity of orchids, so long as you can stand the bugs! Great places to look for orchids in the Sax-Zim Bog include the Warren Nelson Bog, Yellow-bellied Bog, and bog along Owl Avenue and Arkola Road. Here is a short profile on just a few of the orchids found in the Sax-Zim Bog.
One of the most common and numerous orchids in the northwoods, this pink, pouched orchid can be found in a diversity of habitats. Pink Ladyslippers can be found blooming from late May to early June.
Ragged Fringed Orchid
An aptly named orchid, with a generally disheveled appearance. This orchid can be found along roadsides in the Sax-Zim Bog from late June to early August.
Purple Fringed Orchid
An incredible wetland and roadside orchid! Purple Fringed Orchids sport many small purple flowers, different than your typical ladyslipper! These orchids can be found blooming in the Sax-Zim Bog from July to August.
One of the many “green” orchids, which may not hold the great colorful flowers of Showy Ladyslippers, but are a bright beacon in the sphagnum mats where they can be found. Green Adder’s-mouth orchids have tiny flowers and can be easily overlooked as you are walking through a bog. Look for these orchids flowering mid-June through August.