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Wetland Plants and Plant Communities of Minnesota and Wisconsin


(Platanthera psycodes (L.) Lindl.)

Purple-fringed orchis

ORCHID FAMILY (Orchidaceae)


FIELD CHARACTERISTICS: A perennial herb with stout stems 3-15 dm. high. The inflorescence is a cylindrical raceme 0.5-2.5 dm. long and 2.5-4.5 cm. thick, with many small flowers. The flowers are rose-purple (rarely white) with a deeply three- parted, fringed lip 6-16 mm. broad. The leaves are oval to lanceolate, the largest 2-7 cm. broad. The upper leaves are reduced and narrow. In flower from June to August.

ECOLOGICAL NOTES: Purple-fringed orchis is found in wooded swamps, shrub- carrs, fresh (wet) meadows, sedge meadows, and along streambanks. It tends to be more common north of the vegetation tension zone. It can be frequent to common and can even be spotted in road ditches when in bloom. A synonym is Habenaria psycodes (L.) Sprengel. There are similar orchids (Platanthera spp.) that have yellow, white, or green flowers.

SOURCE: Smith (1993); Ownbey and Morley (1991); Fernald (1970); Gleason and Cronquist (1991); and Voss (1972).

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