Green Adder's Mouth Orchid
Malaxis unifolia /Orchid Family
Height: 6" - 10"
July 9, 2005
My friend Amber, the program director at the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont, and I were on a "mystery orchid expedition" when I spotted this plant in Cades Cove. It was exciting to find it just minutes after finding the Ragged Fringed Orchid. Amber and I have an ongoing friendly competition to find unusual wildflowers, she has an advantage over me since she works in the Smokies, so I had to rub it in when I spotted this plant! :) The book "Native Orchids of the Southern Appalachian Mountains" states that this plant has the smallest flowers of any orchid in this area. We wished we had a hand lens to better enjoy the beauty of the tiny flowers. The species name alludes to the fact that the plant has only one leaf. It is not a very common plant, so we were very excited to find it!
Where seen: Great Smoky Mountains NP