Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Northeast Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Northern Green Orchid
Platanthera hyperborea (L.) Lindl.
- Family: Orchid (Orchidaceae)
- Flowering: May-August
- Field Marks: This orchid differs by the unfringed lip of the flowers and the greenish or
greenish white sepals and petals.
- Habitat: Bogs, woods, swampy areas.
- Habit: Perennial herb from tuberous roots.
- Stems: Upright, unbranched, smooth, usually somewhat fleshy, up to 2 1/2 feet tall.
- Leaves: Alternate, simple, lanceolate to oblanceolate, up to 10 inches long, smooth, without teeth, the upper leaves progressively smaller.
- Flowers: Several in an open to dense cylindrical spike, the spike up to 1 foot long, each flower faintly aromatic, subtended by a bract.
- Sepals: 3, greenish to greenish white, up to 1/2 inch long, up to 1/6 inch wide.
- Petals: 3, greenish to greenish white, slightly shorter than the sepals, the lip petal lanceolate, more or less pointed at the tip, up to 1/2 inch long, neither toothed nor fringed, the spur 1/4-1/3 inch long.
- Stamens: 1.
- Pistils: Ovary inferior.
- Fruits: Capsules broadly ellipsoid, smooth, up to 3/4 inch long.
- Notes: Gleason and Cronquist refer to this species as Habenaria hyperborea.
Previous Species -- Brittle Naiad (Najas minor)
Return to Species List -- Group 4
Next Species -- Purple Fringeless Orchid (Platanthera peramoena)