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.

Yellow Fringed Orchid
Yellow Fringed Orchid. Photo by Wes Moody. 

  • Wes Moody

    Wes is a retired engi­neer. He and his wife live in rur­al Clark County with their dog and cat. He is a nature and land­scape pho­tog­ra­phy enthu­si­ast, and also enjoys hik­ing and play­ing djembe.