Scouting around one day the first winter we moved here, we found what we later identified as Puttyroot Orchid leaves. They're easy to find in the winter, or at least easier than in the summer when they bloom. I thought so anyway, until we started trying to find them again.
We found lots of Cranefly Orchids (Tipularia discolor) instead.
Like the Puttyroots, the Cranefly Orchid leaves remain green throughout the winter. Sometimes they have a few bumps or none at all.
Most of the time they have several.
The underside of the leaf is purple.
The Cranefly Orchid is fairly common. I was happy to find them, but it wasn't what I'd been looking for.
We searched and searched in vain.
I couldn't find them in the area where I thought I'd seen them before. I was ready to give up. Then of course we found them somewhere else.
Several Puttyroot Orchids (Aplectrum hyemale) all together!
The leaf in winter feels dry like parchment.
The back side is green.
The blooms of these orchids are nothing to write home about, I suppose. They bloom in the summer, and this time I made note of their locations so I can find them again when the woods are dense.