Orchids of Illinois

Dan Nickrent
Department of Plant Biology, SIUC

This family is second in size only to Asteraceae.  It is the source of a huge floricultural industry (plants and cut flowers). 
Display of Cattleya orchids at Missouri Botanical Garden. Closer view of flower.  Many hybrids (even between genera) are produced and marketed. The vanilla orchid is grown for it's capsule which is the basis for vanilla extract. Flower. Madagascar and Indonesia produced two-thirds of the vanilla worldwide (see Wikipedia treatment).

Orchid Morphology






Orchid genera of eastern U.S.

Orchid genera for midwest.

Orchids genera of Illinois

1. Aplectrum
2. Calopogon
3. Coeloglossum

4. Corallorhiza

Less than the coralroot, you know,
That is content with the daylight low,
And has no leaves at all of its own,
Whose spotted flowers hand meanly down

From Robert Frost, 'On Going Unnoticed' - Corallorhiza
5. Cypripedium
6. Epipactis
7. Galearis
8. Goodyera
9. Hexalectris
10. Isotria
11. Liparis
12. Malaxis
13. Platanthera
14. Pogonia
15. Spiranthes
16. Tipularia
17. Triophora

A non-native orchid you can cultivate outdoors in Illinois!


Websites on Orchids (and other things)

Illinois Orchids
The Illinois Orchid Society
Central Illinois Orchid Society

Regional Orchids

Mid-America Orchid Congress
Central Indiana Orchid Society
Wisconsin Orchid Society
Orchids of Wisconsin
Central Iowa Orchid Society
Kentucky Orchid Society

Orchids in General
Internet Orchid Species Encyclopedia
The Orchid Mall - lists many sites with orchid photographs.
Orchid Conservation Coalition
Native Orchid Conservation Inc (Manitoba, Canada)

The American Orchid Society
The Orchid Photo Page
Orchid Species Photographs (Eric Hunt)
Orchid Photography by Kokin

General Plant Information
Illlinois Plants: Wild Plants of the Prairie State
Illinois Plant Information Network (ILPIN)
Missouri Plants
Connecticut Botanical Society