The Yellow Fringed Orchid is one of about 30 Kentucky native orchid species. Although the name says yellow, they are usually more orange colored. I visited a group of these beautiful plants in the Daniel Boone National Forest early one morning while the dew was still on them, sparkling like tiny jewels. I isolated this single plant in my camera frame using a large aperture setting, creating a shallow depth of field that blurred the background.
Some people try to dig up orchids on public lands and transplant them into their own garden. Poaching orchids is illegal, and the plants will
almost certainly not survive. My simplistic interpretation of what I’ve read is that orchids have a complex symbiotic relationship with mycorrhizal fungi. Orchids rely on their mycorrhizal fungi throughout their life for carbon and nutrients. In return, the
orchid provides the fungi with carbohydrates. Digging up an orchid disrupts this relationship, and the plant will likely die no matter how careful you are transplanting it. Let’s enjoy these plants in their unique native environment.