(Aplectrum spicatum; A. hyemale of Gray)) Orchid family

Flowers - Dingy yellowish brown and purplish, about 1 in. long,

each on a short pedicel, in a few-flowered, loose, bracted raceme

2 to 4 in. long. No spur; sepals and petals similar, small and

narrow, the lip wavy-edged. Scape: to 2 ft. high, smooth, with

about 3 sheathing scales. Leaf: Solitary, rising from the corm in

autumn, elliptic, broad, plaited-nerved, 4 to 6 in. long. Root: A

corm usually attached to one of the preceding season.

Preferred Habitat - Moist woods or swamps.

Flowering Season - May-June.

Distribution - Georgia, Missouri, and California northward, into

British Possessions.

More curious than beautiful is this small orchid whose dingy

flowers of indefinite color and without spurs interest us far

less than the two corms barely hidden below ground. These

singular solid bulbs, about an inch thick, are connected by a

slender stalk, suggesting to the imaginative person who named the

plant our first parents standing hand in hand in the Garden of


But usually several old corms - not always two, by any means -

remain attached to the nearest one, a bulb being produced each

year until Cain and Abel often join Adam and Eve to make up quite

a family group. A strong, glutinous matter within the corms has

been used as a cement, hence the plant's other popular name. From

the newest bulb added, a solitary large leaf arises in late

summer or autumn, to remain all winter. The flower stalk comes up

at one side of it the following spring. Meantime the old corms

retain their life, apparently to help nourish the young one still

joined to them, while its system is taxed with flowering.

Vinca Rosea Madagascar Periwinkle AMERICAN BROOKLIME facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail