(Grass Pink Orchid)The genus Calopogon contains 5 species of cold hardy orchids that are native to the Southeast US (with one species stretching into Canada). Calopogon is a bog plant, living in low-lying, consistently moist areas along with marsh phlox, ferns and sedges. Like most orchids, calopogon has a specialized petal called a labellum, but calopogon flower structure is the opposite of most orchids and the labellum is on the top of the flower instead of the bottom. Calopogon has a fascinating method of attaching pollen to its insect pollinators. When an insect lands on a pale pink or white Calopogon flower, it usually crawls onto the bottom side of the flower which is bearded and looks (to the insect) like it might have pollen and nectar to eat. The weight of the insect triggers the labellum to swing down and, like a pincher, trap the insect between it and the real pollen-producing structure. As the insect crawls out of its trap it picks up a pollen sac. Brilliant!
Like any bog plant, Calopogon requires a consistently moist garden spot?along the edge of a body of water or in a specially made bog garden. Try combining Calopogon with other small bog plants like sarracenia, dionaea, iris, or cyperus. There are not many native US, cold hardy orchids for sale, so do not miss this opportunity. When you're ready to buy Calopogon for your perennial garden, we hope you'll check out our online list of Calopogon for sale.