Monday, October 7, 2019

Way Too Cool Fragrant Lady's Tresses

When Ed and I first moved here  after 30 years of living in the village, we explored every inch of the 36 acres that we could.  I spent a lot of time looking for wildflowers that grow here with my wildflower identification book in hand.  Once I found a type of lady tresses growing at the gravel bank.  I was never able to find it again.  When we went plant shopping at The Fernery this May, a pot of Fragrant Lady Tresses brought all that back.  Even though Ed had finished shopping, I couldn't resist digging in my purse to purchase one more plant.  It was not until later that I did some checking and discovered that New Jersey and Maryland are the Northern extent of the comfort range for this plant. It's bloom time is Sept. through Dec.  In spite of all that the plant seems to be fairly happy where we planted it.  This picture was taken early in September.

Just a little later in September the  stems were much taller and  it looked like maybe I would get  
to experience  the flowers of lady tresses again.  I am hoping that the new USDA 5A zone rating for this neck of the woods is right.  It helps to assuage my plant buyer's guilt.  I must say I have been watching this plant like a hawk. 

The green buds spread out in a spiral and began to show white.  It was after October 1 that the flowers began to open.  Ed and I took turns getting down on our knees to get a close look at these lovely little white orchids.   Both of us thought we could catch a whiff a pleasant fragrance.  Skies have been overcast and it has been cool during the day and cold at night.  We even had a frost.  When I went down to check on the plant after that I thought I might find a sorry looking sight.

I am delighted to report that the plant still looks great.  If we get some warm sunny fall days like we sometimes do, perhaps these flowers will enjoy them and fill the air with fragrance.  They already managed to bloom where they are planted.  Needless to say if the plant survives to come back in the Spring I will be thrilled.

1 comment:

Kathy said...

That big stone visible in the first picture must provide some residual heat and improve the microclimate. Good luck for next spring!