Rare orchid from White Ridge

Catching up with communications in the Botany Group during July. This is from an email from Jocie to the group on July 20.

Frank Hovenden and Jack Bindernagel recently did a trip to White Ridge, a provincial park that is accessed from near Gold River. White Ridge has a lot of limestone and is home to many rare and unusual plants. It isn’t easy to get to—the logging roads are rough and the terrain is steep for hiking. So thanks to Frank and Jack for sharing their botanical adventure with the mountain ladyslipper with us!  This the only place that this orchid has been found on Vancouver Island.

Here are a few notes from Frank (all photos by Jack):

I revisited White Ridge this weekend after an absence of 20 years, hoping to relocate the mountain ladyslipper (Cypripedium montanum).  Orchid numbers have recovered on Site 1 following the avalanche in 1999.  On Site 2 the numbers have increased.

1. A closeup of the orchid.

2. Frank with the orchid patch.

3. Western sweet-vetch (Hedysarum occidentale) growing in a limestone feature.  

4. Spear-fruited draba (Draba lonchocarpa), a rare and interesting plant.

5. Spotted saxifrage (Saxifraga bronchialis), which was abundant. 

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