Coeloglossum viride Frog orchid 2Coeloglossum (Co el o GLOSS um): from Greek koilos meaning hollow and glossa meaning tongue
Coeloglossum is the generic epithet of an orchid with only one species, C. viride, also known as the frog orchid and long bracted orchid. It is the most wide spread orchid in the world and is found in the cool parts of Europe, Asia, and North America where it grows in the moist, rich soil of both wet meadows and wet deciduous woods as well as steep slopes. The generic name refers to the lower lip of flower.

The plants are evergreen and have smooth unbranched stem carrying two to six smooth elliptical to oblong leaves that are two to five inches long and 1 ½ to 2 ½ inches wide. The flowers are produced in terminal racemes of eleven to seventy six in late spring to summer. Each flower is 2/3 inch long, green sometimes tinged with purple, and with a lower lip that that has two lobes and a notch in between, resembling a frog’s tongue. A small round spur lies at the base of the lip and long leaf-like bracts subtend the flowers.

By Karen