Missouri Orchids – Calopogon oklahomensis – Oklahoma Grass Pink

The second new “Missouri” orchid I came across on Casey’s and my trip through Arkansas in May was the Calopogon¬†oklahomensis, the Oklahoma Grass Pink. This is a sister species to C. tuberosus, the Grass Pink, and likewise has the odd non-resupinate flower, meaning the flower pedicle does not twist and the lip is on the top side of the flower, an odd arrangement for orchids. Whereas C. tuberosus prefers wet feet and is typically found in fens, wet meadows and prairies, C. oklahomensis prefers drier feet and is found in more mesic prairies, savannas and open woods.

Calopogon oklahomensis is ranked as globally vulnerable primarily due to habitat destruction across the southcentral United States.

The orchids seen here were photographed in a prairie in Prairie County, AR. This location was a real treat, with hundreds of orchids and a variety of colorations. I wish we could have spent more time here photographing all the variations, but there were miles to be driven yet on this day.

Colors of the Oklahoma Grass Pink at this location ranged from a deep pink-magenta to completely white (not pictured).
When photographing orchids in prairie situations be prepared to deal with harsh sun and windy situations.

-OZB