Dragon's mouth

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For the name of the series of straits separating the Gulf of Paria from the Caribbean Sea see Bocas del Dragón

Dragon's mouth orchid
Arethusa bulbosa, Black Fen.jpg
Taken Pancake Bay, Ontario
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Tribe: Arethuseae
Subtribe: Arethusinae
Genus: Arethusa
Species: A. bulbosa
Binomial name
Arethusa bulbosa
  • Arethusa bulbosa f. albiflora E.L.Rand & Redfield
  • Arethusa bulbosa f. subcaerulea E.L.Rand & Redfield

Arethusa bulbosa, commonly called dragon's mouth orchid,[3] is the only species in the orchid genus Arethusa.[2] The genus is named after a naiad of Greek mythology.[4] This monotypic genus is abbreviated Aret in trade journals.

This terrestrial and rare orchid occurs Eastern North America from Manitoba east to Newfoundland and St. Pierre & Miquelon south to Virginia, with isolated populations in northern Saskatchewan and in the Carolinas.[2][5][6] It occurs in bogs, swamps and other wet lowlands. It grows to a height of 15 cm. It forms a large, single, pink terminal flower, with a showy lip and white and yellow fringed crests.[1]



  1. ^ a b Justice, William S.; Bell, C. Ritchie; Lindsey, Anne H. (2005). Wild Flowers of North Carolina (2. printing. ed.). Chapel Hill, NC: Univ. of North Carolina Press. p. 52. ISBN 0807855979.
  2. ^ a b c Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, Arethusa bulbosa
  3. ^ Voitk, A & M. (2006). Orchids on the Rock: The Orchids of Newfoundland. Rocky Harbour, NL: Gros Morne Co-operating Association.
  4. ^ University of Wisconsin, Orchids of Wisconsin, Arethusa bulbosa
  5. ^ Flora of North America v 26 p 597, Arethusa bulbosa
  6. ^ "Arethusa bulbosa". County-level distribution map from the North American Plant Atlas (NAPA). Biota of North America Program (BONAP). 2014.

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