July 11, 2013
I found an unfamiliar plant in my garden.
Being of the "don't pull it until it flowers so you can identify it" mindset, I waited. It didn't look pretty at first. It reminded me of a Solomon's Seal (Polygonatum biflorum) plant with shaggy grass growing out of the top.
But then, when it flowered, I realized it was an Orchid! I was pleased, until I found out it's a non-native invasive plant. I honestly didn't know that any of the Orchids growing in my state are invasive. Darn!
More than 200 species of Orchids are native to North America, but this isn't one of them. The Orchid I found in my garden is Epipactis helleborine, sometimes called Bastard Hellebore or Broadleaf Helleborine.
This photo shows the scale of the plant. The individual flowers grow along a tall stem--about one to two feet tall.
The foliage displays at the bottom of the plant, below the stem.
After I found out it's invasive in my state, I dug it out--deeply, making sure to get all the roots. It's sad, though, because in its native Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, it would be a welcomed beauty!
*Update: For more information about this invasive Orchid, here are two helpful articles on how to identify it and deal with it:
http://nyti.ms/12JkDiQ and http://bit.ly/10SVzIB.