There are two little prairie orchids that bloom in the Skiatook area, one in the spring, the other in the fall.
I recently saw the first fall one, Nodding Ladies’ Tresses. The other one is Spring Ladies’ Tresses. They are tiny plants, usually less than a foot tall and easily overlooked. The orchids are found throughout the tallgrass prairie region in meadows or woods, wherever there is adequate sunlight. Nodding ladies’ tresses can be found in moist pastures or woods, spring ladies’ tresses in drier prairies.
The two are similar and I’ve seen both of them blooming in the fall and spring, although they tend to predominate during their usual seasons. The main difference between the two is that the blossoms of spring ladies’ tresses are spiraled around the stem.
Enjoy these lovely little wildflowers if you happen to have them in your neighborhood. Photos from left: nodding ladies’ tresses, and enlargement of the blossoms, and spring ladies’ tresses.