Calopogon tuberosus (L.) B.S.P.

tuberous grass-pink

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Tuberous grass-pink has the broadest range of any of the five species in the grass-pink genus (Calopogon), and the only one found in New England. The knobbed hairs on the lip are believed to imitate pollen, thus attracting pollen-collecting bees. The actual pollen is deposited via a pollinium on the upper side of the bee's abdomen, where the bee cannot reach it.

Habitat

Bogs, fens, meadows and fields, swamps, wetland margins (edges of wetlands)

Characteristics

Habitat
  • terrestrial
  • wetlands
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
Leaf arrangement
basal: the leaves are growing only at the base of the plant
Number of leaves on stem
absent
Form of lower petal
the labellum does not have a pouch-like shape
Lower petal outline
the labellum is lobed but not fringed
Main color of lower petal
  • pink to red
  • white
Nectar spur
there are no nectar spurs on the flower
Inflorescence type
the inflorescence is a spike (a long unbranched stem with flowers along it that lack stalks)
Lower petal characteristics
the labellum is lobed
Lower petal length
11–23 mm
Sepal length
13–31 mm
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Flower bract length
    3–30 mm
    Flower petal color
    • pink
    • white
    Flower symmetry
    there is only one way to evenly divide the flower (the flower is bilaterally symmetrical)
    Flowering date
    • August
    • July
    • June
    Flowers per inflorescence
    1–25
    Form of lower petal
    the labellum does not have a pouch-like shape
    Hairs on flower stalk
    NA
    Hairs on inflorescence axis
    the main stem of the inflorescence is hairless
    Inflorescence length
    100–380 mm
    Inflorescence type
    the inflorescence is a spike (a long unbranched stem with flowers along it that lack stalks)
    Labellum position
    the labellum is in the upper position on the flower
    Length of flower stalk
    0 mm
    Length of narrowed base of lower petal
    0 mm
    Lobes at base of lower petal
    0 mm
    Lower petal characteristics
    the labellum is lobed
    Lower petal length
    11–23 mm
    Lower petal outline
    the labellum is lobed but not fringed
    Lower petal strongly red-veined
    no
    Main color of lower petal
    • pink to red
    • white
    Nectar spur
    there are no nectar spurs on the flower
    Nectar spur length
    0 mm
    Number of stamens
    1
    Pollen sacs
    the pollinia remain intact and do not fragment into smaller parts
    Self-pollinating flowers
    there are no cleistogamous flowers on this plant
    Sepal length
    13–31 mm
    Sepals fused only to sepals
    the sepals are separate from one another
    Shape of viscidium
    NA
    Spots on lower petal
    no
    Spur opening membrane
    NA
    Spur opening shape
    NA
  • Fruits or seeds
    Fruit length
    13–30 mm
    Fruit width
    5–10 mm
    Seed capsule orientation
    the capsule points upwards or is angled outwards
  • Growth form
    Plant green or not
    the plant is chlorophyllous (it has green parts)
    Roots
    the rhizomes do not resemble coral
    Underground organs
    • the plant has one or more swollen storage organs underground, such as bulbs, tubers or corms
    • there are only slender roots on the plant
  • Leaves
    Bract relative length
    the bract is shorter than the associated flower
    Features of leaves
    the leaf has a strong bend or joint (articulation) in it
    Leaf arrangement
    basal: the leaves are growing only at the base of the plant
    Leaf blade edges
    the edges of the leaf blade have no teeth
    Leaf blade length
    30–500 mm
    Leaf blade length to width ratio
    10–15
    Leaf blade shape
    • the leaf blade is elliptic (widest near the middle and tapering at both ends)
    • the leaf blade is lanceolate (lance-shaped; widest below the middle and tapering at both ends)
    • the leaf blade is linear (very narrow with more or less parallel sides)
    Leaf blade width
    2–50 mm
    Leaves during flowering
    there are leaves on the plant when it is flowering
    Number of bracts on stem
    2–3
    Number of leaves on stem
    absent
  • Place
    Habitat
    • terrestrial
    • wetlands
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    • New Hampshire
    • Rhode Island
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    • bogs
    • edges of wetlands
    • fens
    • meadows or fields
    • swamps

Wetland Status

Occurs only in wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: OBL)

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
present
Maine
present
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
present
Rhode Island
present
Vermont
present

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Maine
unranked (S-rank: SNR)
Massachusetts
fairly widespread (S-rank: S4)

var. tuberosus

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)
Rhode Island
rare (S-rank: S2), concern (code: C)
Vermont
uncommon (S-rank: S3)

Native to North America?

Yes

Sometimes Confused With

Pogonia ophioglossioides:
modified petal (the labellum) lowermost, ornamented, but without a brush of fine yellow hairs, and leaf blades mostly oblanceolate to elliptic (vs. C. tuberosus, with modified petal (the labellum) uppermost, with a brush of fine yellow hairs, and leaf blades mostly linear to lanceolate).

Synonyms

  • Calopogon pulchellus (Salisb.) R. Br.
  • Limodorum tuberosum L.

Family

Orchidaceae

Genus

Calopogon

Notes on Subspecies and Varieties in New England

Our variety is Calopogon tuberosus (L.) B.S.P. var. tuberosus.

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

1.  Calopogon tuberosus (L.) B.S.P. var. tuberosus N

tuberous grass-pink. Calopogon pulchellus (Salisb.) R. Br.; Limodorum tuberosum L. 
• CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT. Bogs, fens, wet meadows, and openings in conifer swamps.