A Hybrid Population of Habenaria and Variation in H. blephariglottis


James W. Hardin

Additional Authors:


September – 1961


Habenaria, blephariglottis, ciliaris

Habenaria blephariglottis (Willd.) Hook., the White Fringed Orchid, and H. ciliaris (L.) R. Br., the Yellow Fringed Orchid, are both common in the southeastern Coastal Plain of the United States. Correll (1950)1 mentions the possibility of hybrids occurring where these species grow together. Such a hybrid population, within an area of approximately 100 square yards, was found in Brunswick County, North Carolina on August 26, 1961. This small population contained twenty-one plants: three with the completely white flowers of H. blephariglottis, seven with the deep orange of H. ciliaris, and eleven obviously intermediate in color. These intermediates were not completely uniform but varied from an orange-cream to a pale orange. In some the lip was nearly white while the sepals, and lateral petals were more orange. Because of this lack of uniformity among the intermediates it appeared as if these may represent introgressants rather than simple F, hybrids. These twenty-one plants were collected and returned to the herbarium of North Carolina, State College for study.