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Seeking Out Missouri’s Wild Orchids

You hear the word orchid, what comes to mind? Beautiful flow­ers­from warm, trop­i­cal islands? A plant grown in a hot­house, to be used as a cor­sage? Springtime in Missouri? Yes, Missouri. All three of those thoughts are cor­rect, but let’s not stop there. How about vanilla ice cream? The vanilla bean, used as a fla­vor­ing in many of your favorite foods, is the fruit from an orchid plant; rum is often fla­vored by the pods of another orchid species; and the tuber­ous roots of many orchids are edi­ble (they taste like potatoes).