orchid lily??

Jamesh2omemorygardenDecember 10, 2012

This is a plant that grows on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. My son found it and it has come up for several years now but he died suddenly and I do not know anything else about it. It blooms in September-October. It is outdoors on the north side of our home. The tiny blooms look like orchids but the whole plant is only about 2 feet tall. The leaves look like lily leaves. After it blooms it dies back then comes up again the next year. It is growing among wild ferns. Any help would be appreciated. He loved wild flowers and I would like to know what it is called. Entered by Jamesh2omemorygarden.

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mistascott(7A VA)

Perhaps it is a Toad Lily. Botanical name: Tricyrtis hirta, formosana, or hybrids. It matches your description pretty well: lily-like foliage, shade-loving, blooms early to mid-Fall, about 2 feet tall, tiny orchid-like flowers. Not all varieties have flowers that look exactly like the picture, but it should give you a decent representation of what the flowers look like.

This post was edited by mistascott on Tue, Dec 11, 12 at 16:40

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 12:34AM
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saltcedar(Sunset zn 30/usda 8b)

Nun's Orchid can survive in Southernmost MS, and your plant
may have succumbed to a colder than average Winter. This is why
it's oh so important to list your growing zone (if known) or at least
the nearest large city to aid identifications.

Here is a link that might be useful: Phaius tankervilliae

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 8:54AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

The weedy orchid Epipactis helleborine is coming up all over and being asked about repeatedly.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 12:29PM
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mistascott(7A VA)

Nun's Orchid blooms in late Winter/early Spring (not Fall as OP described), including flower stalks it is 3-5 feet tall (not 2 feet tall as the OP described), nor are the flowers small as the OP described.

Epipactis helleborine is a possibility; it blooms Summer into Fall but its range has not yet included the Gulf Coast states. I do not know if this is because it isn't suited to the climate or it just hasn't invaded yet.

This post was edited by mistascott on Tue, Dec 11, 12 at 13:49

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 1:34PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

It is so sad that Helleborine is a nuisance for you. It is becoming ever rarer here in its native habitat. I get very excited when I see one.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 1:48PM
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saltcedar(Sunset zn 30/usda 8b)

While I generally agree it's unlikely to be Phaius, I don't think
it's accurate to say it must be that large. Many plants reach
only a fraction of the heights/dimensions listed in texts. Also
one man's Orchid/Lily may turn out to be another's Canna!

This post was edited by saltcedar on Tue, Dec 11, 12 at 14:17

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 2:14PM
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saltcedar(Sunset zn 30/usda 8b)

Zingiberaceae

Globba

Kaempferia

Roscoea

Here is a link that might be useful: Globba

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 2:33PM
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