Native Orchid News:|
The Newsletter of Native Orchid Conservation Inc.
Fall is in the air and in the woods, and on the prairie most plants are rapidly going to seed and preparing for winter. It's not surprising, when you consider that we saw Rock Cress in bloom on the side of the highway at the end of March this year!
We had a very busy summer. Many members joined us on the nine field trips we ran this spring and summer.
NOCI president Bud Ewacha and vice-president Doris Ames attended the Millennium Wetland Event in Quebec City August 5-12th. This conference had the theme Sustaining Our Peatlands. Scientists from 60 countries attended this event with more than 2000 delegates present. Bud and Doris found it interesting and NOCI received much support for its efforts to save the Gull Lake Wetlands. They even managed to sell a few memberships. We are grateful to SunGro Horticulture, Premier Horticulture and Ron Lemieux MLA for LaVerendrye, for their financial support.
Speaking of the Gull Lake Wetlands, we received a letter from Helios Hernandez, head of Ecological Reserves in the Province of Manitoba, notifying us that the Ecological reserves Advisory Committee sent a proposal to the Minister of the Environment recommending that approximately 820ha of Crown land in this wetland complex be established as an ecological reserve. The proposal is presently being reviewed in consultation with the forestry sector, the mining sector and the First Nations. They refer to the wetlands in the proposal as the Brokenhead Wetland Ecological Reserve instead of the Gull Lake Wetlands or the Scanterbury Bog, but "a rose by any other name..."
During their stay in Quebec City, Bud and Doris had a chance to go on field trips to many bogs, fens and ecological reserves. They saw many interesting plants and heard about many innovative plans for managing these areas and using them for public education. (Quebec has 62 ecological reserves at present and has plans for 100). They also plan to make some part of all of them accessible to the public with the installation of boardwalks. Presently, two have educational programs and another one is almost ready. Bud and Doris also saw two new orchids, Broad-leaved Helleborine (Epipactis helleborine) and White Fringed Orchid (Platanthera blephariglottis). Broad-leaved Helleborine was introduced into Canada from Europe in the late 1800's because it was believed to be a good treatment for gout. Since then, it has spread everywhere and people in Quebec refer to it as a weed.
NOCI has been asked to display at the SAG convention again this year. We will have our displays and the mini-bog terrariums there for the Science teachers to see on October 20th at the Maples Collegiate.
We need someone with computer skills to upload material onto our website four or five times a year. If you can help, please send a note to Bud at <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Our membership chair, Peggy Bainard Acheson will be moving as of September 2000. Her new address will be: 1307-90B Plaza Drive, Winnipeg, MB R3T5K8. Please note this change if you need membership information or you wish to renew your membership.
If you are interested in attending a NOCI meeting, you are welcome to join us the first Wednesday of every month at 7:30pm at Powerland Computers, 170 Marion Street. (There are no meetings in July or August.)
This nice little 25cm high orchid is found in mossy coniferous forests. There is a cluster of 3-5 short, basal leaves that have a strong mosaic pattern of white markings. The whole plant is covered with downy hairs. The orchid blooms July to September. The small whitish-green flowers, with their sac-shaped lips, grow one-sided near the top of the stem. The flowers are followed by widely spaced pods. The pods persist most of the winter. This is one of the few native orchids that will grow in a plantation forest.
There are several kinds of Rattlesnake Plantain and their hybrids in Manitoba. There seems to be a good crop this year and it's still early enough to go out and see them for yourself.