A rare orchid, “The Small Whorled Pogonia,” has been rediscovered in Vermont. The rare orchid was extinct for 120 years before being rediscovered in Vermont. The Small Whorled Pogonia was last documented in Vermont in 1902, Aaron Marcus, an assistant botanist at Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, told CNN.
Marcus said the Small Whorled Pogonia is “one of the rarest orchid species east of the Mississippi.”
“One thing that’s really cool about our orchid species is that most of them are dependent on fungal species, species we can’t see underground, connected to our root system, which makes it so hard for us to understand orchids and what they need,” Marcus said.
The last known documentation of a small whorled pogonia in Vermont was a photograph of a plant that had been dug up and placed in a flower pot, Marcus said. The discovery of an outcropping of the plant in Vermont is “a really great and exciting bright light,” said Marcus.
“It was very exciting” to discover the orchid, said Marcus.