The calypso orchid, sometimes called the fairy or venus slipper, was already blooming by the end of May and the rest will follow soon. I suspect that the Platanthera obtusata, known as the northern bog orchid, will follow soon. The height of bloom for orchids in the Yukon is mid-June.

Most Yukon orchids can be found growing in wetlands: swamps, bogs, etc.

For this photo essay, I will give the Latin name that the orchid is known by according to the Database of Vascular Plants of Canada at www.CanadenSys.net. Common names are trickier; I will give the names that I use, beyond just exclaiming enthusiastically, “an orchid!”

Wild orchids in the Yukon are mostly very tiny, and you will have to get your knees wet to smell them.

And if you are keen to identify them, check out iNaturalist.ca. Bruce Bennett and Lucy Johanson at Environment Yukon have made it possible for you to use this app for the Yukon. And when sitting out by the campfire at night, Bruce suggests checking out the field guides for the specific area you are camping at, or the rare plant guide from the Yukon Conservation Data Centre.

One orchid I do not have a picture of is Spiranthes romanzoffiana (hooded ladies tresses). Other orchids can be found in other parts of the Yukon, including Goodyera repens (dwarf rattlesnake plantain); Dactylorhiza viridis (frog orchid); and Malaxis paludosa (bog adder’s-mouth orchid) in the northeast.