Excerpts from Jim Conrad's
from the June 12, 2005 Newsletter issued from the Sierra Nevada foothills
somewhat east of Placerville, California, USA
SPARSE-FLOWERED BOG ORCHID
Along my jogging road right now a number of orchids also are flowering. The books provide them with the awkward name Sparse-flowered Bog Orchid. They're PLATANTHERA SPARSIFLORA, and you can see the plant's slender spike of very small, green flowers at http://www.orchids.org/ooc/Genera/Platanthera/sparsiflora/index.shtml.
No bogs occur along that road. However, the one-lane trail goes along a steep slope so there's a roadcut on one side. This cut interrupts the natural flow of groundwater flowing downslope, so seeps occur. The slopes are also deeply shaded and don't easily dry out. Therefore, this orchid has its wet soil despite not being in a bog.
If you particularly enjoy orchids you should visit the "OrchidMania" website at http://www.orchids.org/ being sure to notice the "Orchids of the World" section at http://www.orchids.org/species/index.html.