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Wild About Illinois Orchids!

Fifty species of orchids grow in Illinois. Forty-nine of those species are native to the state. Currently (2022), 16 species of orchids are listed as endangered in Illinois, with two of those species being designated as federally threatened. One species of orchid is categorized as threatened in Illinois (as of 2022). Although orchids can be found throughout the state, most species are associated with particular habitat types, such as woods, prairies, bogs, fens, swamps and areas of moist, spongy soil. Orchid flowers develop singly, in clusters or on spikes. The flowers include a three-chambered ovary, three sepals, two petals on the side and a third petal that may be modified as a sac or lip and may have a spur.

The modified petal functions as a landing platform, a trap and/or an attractant for insects. The other two petals and the sepals often are similar in appearance. The stamens and style of orchids are fused into one structure. The leaves are entire and have parallel veins.

Family and Species Gallery

Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Orchidales
Family: Orchidaceae