Forty-three species of orchids are known to be native to the Ottawa area. Some of
these are very familiar, such as the Showy Lady’s Slipper that grows in large numbers
at Purdon Fen, but others are much less well known. Some species are very small and
inconspicuous and are easily overlooked, while others are quite uncommon and only
occur in one or two specific locations.
We have put together a complete listing, which includes images of almost every local
species in its natural habitat as well as brief information on habitat, flowering
period and abundance. The images are presented as “thumbnails” - please click on
any of the images to see a larger version. Abundances are derived from “The orchids
in the Ottawa District” (see below) and are based on a study area of 50 km radius
centred on the Peace Tower of the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa.
We are also looking for additional photos of these native orchids. If you have photos
which you feel are as good as (or perhaps better than!) the images in the list, please
consider submitting them to the Society for possible inclusion in this page. Of course
we reserve the right to to decide which photos to include, and to edit photos as
appropriate. PLEASE NOTE: unless otherwise stated, all photos must be taken in Eastern
Ontario or Western Quebec.
More information on the orchids in the Ottawa/Outaouais area can be found in the
1997 monograph “The Orchids in the Ottawa District: Floristics, Phytogeography, Population
Studies and Historical Review” by Joyce M. Reddoch and Allan H. Reddoch. It was published
in The Canadian Field-Naturalist, Volume 111, Number 1.