Whorled Pogonia

By William T. Hathaway

Whorled Pogonia (Isotria verticillata)

This species is also referred to as the Large Whorled Pogonia. It is fairly common in Pittsylvania County, Virginia, and inhabits moist or dry hardwood slopes.

The whorled leaves resemble the generally known Indian Cucumber Root that is popular with Boy Scouts — the peppery root being a tasty morsel. It is remarkable as one stands near or almost on top of the site where these little orchids are found, the orchids' natural camouflage renders them practically invisible. This photo was taken April 15, 1968, on the southern side of Smith Mountain along the Mountain Road.