Wild Florida Photo
Nature Photography by Paul Rebmann
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TOOTHPETAL FALSE REINORCHID
TOOTHED REIN ORCHIS
Synonym: Habenaria odontopetala
This is a common terrestrial orchid of swamps, hammocks and flatwoods throughout much of peninsular Florida. Habenaria floribunda is also found in Mexico, Central America and the West Indies.
Habenaria floribunda is sometimes called H. odontopetala and is a terrestrial orchid with alternate leaves gradually reduced in size up the stem. The 5 to 12 leaves are glossy green, elliptic, up to 20cm (8 in.) long and 3-5cm (1-1/8 to 2 in.) wide. From 10 to 60 flowers appear in a terminal raceme. The flowers of this species of Habenaria have the yellow-green petals formed into 2 small teeth. The other species all have the petals forming longer thread-like structures. The lip is green and divided into three parts forming two wings and a longer middle portion hanging down in the center. The spur is about 25mm (1 in.) long. Flowering is mostly in the fall, beginning around September in north Florida and extending into February in the southern portions of the state. The flowers have a distinctive odor that seems to be most noticeable around dusk.
There is a heatonii color form in which the entire plant is white.