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Published In: Hortus Kewensis; or, a Catalogue of the Plants Cultivated in the Royal Botanic Garden at Kew. London (ed. 2.) 5: 204. 1813. (Hortus Kew. (ed. 2)) Name publication detailView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
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Project Data     (Last Modified On 7/23/2009)


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2. Calopogon R. Br. (grass pink)

Plants with tuberlike corms. Flowering stems erect, with 2–10 nonresupinate flowers in a raceme at the tip. Leaf 1(–2), basal, 5–35 cm long, green, herbaceous, glabrous, linear‑lanceolate. Sepals 14–25 mm long, the lateral sepals ovate with oblique tips, the upper sepal narrowly elliptic. Lateral petals 14–22 mm long, oblong‑elliptic. Lip 11–17 mm long, linear, and broadened at the tip into 2 or 3 circular to triangular lobes, bearded with dense, club‑shaped hairs below the lobes. Column 9–18 mm long, pink, 2‑winged near the tip. Stamen 1, staminodes lacking. Capsules erect, 18–21 mm long, elliptic in outline, strongly ribbed. Five species, eastern North America.

Until recently, grass pinks in the state were treated as a single species by most authors. Summers (1981) first discussed the fact that in Missouri these orchids exhibit two morphological phases that coincide with dissimilar habitats. Subsequently, Magrath and Nelson (1989) examined similar variation in Oklahoma plants and treated them as C. tuberosus var. tuberosus and var. simpsonii (Chapman) L. Magrath. Goldman (1995) concluded that these phases represent distinct species, and his classification is followed below.

The flowers of Calopogon are pollinated by bees, which are apparently deceived by the beard of hairs on the column that resembles anthers. The hinged lip, which is at the top of the flower, flexes downward when a bee lands on it, forcing the insect to pollinate the flower during its escape.


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1 Flowering stem about as long as or slightly shorter than the leaf; perianth pale pink; patch of club-shaped hairs nearest the tip of the lip pale pink (more basal patches usually yellow) 1 Calopogon oklahomensis
+ Flowering stem noticeably longer than the leaf; perianth usually bright pink; patch of club-shaped hairs nearest the tip of the lip white, yellow, and/or orange (more basal patches usually yellow) 2 Calopogon tuberosus
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