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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains

69. Orchidaceae, the Orchid Family

4. Platanthera Rich.

2. Platanthera praeclara Sheviak & Bowles -- Western prairie fringed orchid


Plants 3-8 dm tall, glabrous. Leaves lanceolate to broadly linear, 8-20 cm long (including the strongly sheathing base), 1-4 cm wide, blunt-tipped. Spike cylindric, 5-15 cm long; bracts lanceolate, blunt, 1-4 cm long; flowers several to many, spreading, white, large and showy; sepals 9-12 mm long, broadly ovate to obovate; lateral petals broadly obovate-cuneate, erose, 10-15 mm long; lip deeply 3-lobed with fringed margins, 1.5-2.5 cm long and about as wide, the lobes flabelliform, deeply dissected, the spur conspicuous, 2-5 cm long, usually curved; ovary elongate, 2-3 cm long. Late Jun--Jul. Wet meadows and low prairie, often where sandy; occasional in se ND, otherwise rare or extinct in e SD, e and c NE; (N.S. and Ont. to ND, s to OH, LA and KS). Habenaria leucophaea (Nutt.) A. Gray, Platanthera leucophaea (Nutt.) Lindl.
GIF- Distribution Map

Map key


Previous Section -- Platanthera hyperborea (L.) Lindl. -- Northern green orchid
Return to Family -- Orchidaceae - The Orchid Family
Next Section -- Spiranthes cernua (L.) Rich. -- Nodding ladies'-tresses

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