Tiny Soldier in your lawn?

!Zeuxine strateumatica by ken gonyo
Ken Gonyo (Class of 2012) sent this picture of a tiny, easily overlooked orchid growing in the upland set aside area along Olso Road at the Audubon House — and identified it as lawn orchid (Zeuxine strateumatica). Also known as solder orchid, this Asian terrestrial orchid was first reported to be in Florida in 1936 on cultivated land west of Fellsmere. It rapidly spread throughout Florida in cultivated areas and is regarded as a lawn weed.

!!Zeuxine-strateumatica

For much of the year, this lawn orchid persists as an underground stem. It emerges in early winter, sometimes without leaves, and then vanishes to return (or not) the following year.

Look closely to discern the tiny flowers of this terrestrial orchid …

!!Zeuxine-strateumatica-closeup

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