Species Orchid, Bog Rose, Dragon's Mouth, Swamp Pink, Wild Pink, Arethusa

Arethusa bulbosa

Family: Orchidaceae (or-kid-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Arethusa (ar-e-thew-sa) (Info)
Species: bulbosa (bul-BOH-suh) (Info)



Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Very high moisture needs; suitable for bogs and water gardens

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:



Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

Soil pH requirements:

4.6 to 5.0 (highly acidic)

5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From seed; germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 8, 2006, indianawildflwr from Westpoint, IN wrote:

This plant is on the endangered list in Indiana. I have a plant preserve and wildflower farm, and would like to get some Arethusa bulbosa seed to start propogating this plant for Indiana.

Anyone have seed or knows where I can get some?

Please send an e-mail to me: [email protected]

Winterhaven Wildflowers
West Point, IN 47992


On Dec 13, 2004, Todd_Boland from St. John's, NL (Zone 5b) wrote:

This is one of the earliest orchids to bloom in Newfoundland, starting in late June. It is very common in all of our bogs and at times, the bogs can take on a pink hue from their many blooms. Flowers range from the very rare white form through light pink to deep pink. Here, they often occur side-by-side with two other pink bog orchids, Pogonia ophioglossoides and Calopogon tuberosus. Although it has been suggested that this orchid 'fools' its pollinators, in fact, this one does provide a nectar reward for the queen bumblebees who are the primary pollinator. Calopogon and Pogonia are the deceiving species, fooling their bee pollinators into thinking their flowers will offer a reward like those of the Arethusa. (I did my Honours Dissertation on the pollination ecology of these three pin... read more


On Aug 16, 2002, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Arethusa is an endangered species in Connecticut.

The flowers of Arethusa offer little or no nectar reward to their pollinators, even though they are attractively colored and sweetly scented. They apparently deceive their pollinators, inexperienced queen bumblebees, by supplying all the cues of a rewarding flower without the rewards. The bees quickly learn to avoid the flowers, however, so pollination is dependent on an adequate supply of recently-emerged inexperienced bumblebees.