A very lucky find in Washington's Olympic Mountains! This tiny orchid was in full bloom up a narrow mountain goat trail overlooking the majestic glaciers and peaks found in Olympic National Park. Found only in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and British Columbia, this easily overlooked beauty is only one of two green-flowered Piperia species growing in the Pacific Northwest. How you tell this one apart from the somewhat similar Alaskan piperia is the length of the spur. This one (Piperia elongata) has a spur on the flower that greatly exceeds the length of the lip, while the closely related Alaskan piperia (Piperia unalascensis) has a spur that is equal to or slightly less than the length of the lip. The spur in this photo looks a bit like a horn growing underneath each flower, and the lip is the bottom part that looks like a wide "lower petal" in the middle of each flower.
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