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Moist sandy and peaty meadows, openings in swamps, bogs, pine savannas.
Newfoundland and Ontario to MI, south to FL and TX. There is one population in Berrien County IN and others in central IL. May have occurred at one time in Cook County IL as well. Fairly common in some parts of the northeast including NY, Ontario, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland.
Erect, herbaceous perennial from a fascicle of fleshy roots, to 1 m; leaves alternate, cauline; lower 1-3 leaves linear or lance-linear; upper several leaves much reduced; flowers in a terminal, compact, ovoid inflorescence; flowers white; sepals subrotund or ovate, the lateral ones reflexed against the ovary; lip simple, unlobed, narrowly oblanceolate, fringed except at the base; spur elongate and slender.
Flowers July to August
Wetland indicator: OBL
There are two recognized varieties, var. blephariglottis and var. conspicua (Nash) Ames. The former is smaller, more northern, with shorter spurs up to 26 mm long and a range extending south to NJ, PA and along the Southeastern Plains to GA; also locally in IL. The latter variety is larger, southern, with spurs at least 30 mm long and occurs along the coastal plain as far north as NC. The plants in these images were photographed in PA and southern NJ.
Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Second Ed.
The New York Botanical Garden. Bronx, NY
Sheviak, C.J. 2002. Platanthera, In: Flora of North America Editorial Committee, Eds. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Volume 26. Oxford University Press, New York.
Swink, F. and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region.
Indiana Academy of Science. The Morton Arboretum. Lisle, Illinois.
Michael Hough © 2009