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Plant of the Week: Invasive Epipactis helleborine

Plant of the Week! It’s the most interesting invasive species you’ve (maybe) never heard of! Epipactis helleborine is an invasive ORCHID. Orchids seem like fragile plants with super specific needs, not something to be compared with Garlic Mustard and Dame’s Rocket. Well, in this case both characteristics are true! Helleborine orchids rely on specific fungi to survive, and on wasps to reproduce. They attract the wasps by mimicking the scent of insect-damaged leaves, then get them to stick around by making them inebriated. Intrigued? Check out this article about Helleborine Orchid by In Defense of Plants. And if you have this interesting, but invasive plant in your yard, try to dig out the entire root system. Broken underground roots can grow new plants. (Photo from Wiscflora, http://wisflora.herbarium.wisc.edu/taxa/index.php?taxon=3529)


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