Orange-Fringed Orchid (Platanthera ciliaris)
Growing (practically everywhere) on hillsides and along a lakeside at Fort Mountain State park. This is one of my bucketlist orchids, so I was thrilled to see them in such large numbers. It was totally worth the short trip up the mountain (did I mention I have a phobia of winding mountain passes?)!
Pollinators of this orchid include: The Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus), the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus), the Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes), the Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio troilus), the Striped Hairstreak (Satyrium liparops) and moths like the White-Lined Sphinx (Hyles lineata).
''Platanthera ciliaris'', commonly known as the yellow fringed orchid, yellow-fringed orchid, or orange-fringed orchid, is a large and showy species of orchid. It grows in "acid soil of hillside seepage bogs" in the longleaf pine landscapes of the Gulf Coast. Like many species in these habitats, including flatwoods, it is dependent upon recurring fire to create open conditions. Further north it is found in bogs, but even here it may be dependent upon fire to create open conditions.