Rare orchid found in Vermont for first time since 1902

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Rare orchid found in Vermont for first time since 1902

A rare orchid has been found for the first time in 120 years, according to officials. 

The small whorled pogonia was found by botanists in Vermont last month, according to a Wednesday Facebook post from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).

The last time a small whorled pogonia was seen in Vermont was in 1902, the department wrote on Facebook. 

In the post, the USFWS called the discovery of the orchid “breaking botanical news.”

The rare orchid — which is listed as a threatened species — is named for its whorled arrangements of leaves just below the flower, USFWS said.

The discovery of the small whorled pogonia in Vermont was first shared by Vermont Fish and Wildlife in June. 

In a press release, Vermont Fish and Wildlife said a population of the flowers was found in Winooski Valley Park District conservation land. 

The small whorled pogonia is typically found in the eastern U.S. and in Ontario, the press release said. 

Now that the rare orchid has been discovered, Vermont Fish and Wildlife will work with the Winooski Valley Park District to look for more of the flowers and monitor them to ensure they can flourish in Vermont, the release said. 

“Discovering a viable population of a federally threatened species unknown in our state for over a century is astounding,” Bob Popp, a Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department botanist, said in a statement.  “It’s Vermont’s equivalent of rediscovering the ivory-billed woodpecker.”

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