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Tipularia discolor [Cranefly Orchid]

Offered are flowering size to near flowering size, 2-3 pseudobulb plants in 4” pots. Plants are perennial and are garden hardy from zone 5-8, and possibly zone 4. See last photo for similar sized plant from this offering.


This species is native to the eastern part of North America. It is found in the panhandle of Florida west to eastern Texas. It is found in a few areas around the Great Lakes. It is found in New Jersey, southern Pennsylvania, s. Ohio, and s. Indiana. It ranges west to s. Missouri Arkansas, and extreme eastern Oklahoma and e.Texas. Plants produce a single leaf IN THE FALL (see growth cycle below and in culture sheet.) These are produced from a short string of pseudobulbs at the surface or 1" below the surface. The leaf is 2” – 3½” long. It is typically an olive green with varying amounts of purple veining. The bottoms are usually a dark almost metallic purple. Inflorescences are produced in spring from a leafless plant. Inflorescences are 4” – 18” tall and carry 10 – 30 flowers. Individual flowers are ¼” – ½” across. Sepals and petals are green with a purple-tan flush. The labellum is tan-purple. The 1” – 1¼” spur is purple. Plants prefer a rich well-drained soil.


Growth Cycle:  The growth cycle of this plant is interesting. Odd for most northern plants in that the new growth commences in late summer (August – October). The leaf will persist through winter until flowering commences in late spring (May – June). Flowering begins in late spring (May – June).  At this point the leaf will begin to deteriorate. When the last flower fades the plant will consist of an inflorescence and green capsules. By the time the seeds have released (August – October) there will be a partially or fully developed new leaf. 

Tipularia discolor [Cranefly Orchid]

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