Platanthera grandiflora (Bigelow) Lindl.

greater purple fringed bog-orchid

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Greater purple fringed bog-orchid is an eye-catching plant when in bloom. It is pollinated primarily by large butterflies and moths. The Iroquois made a tea of the dried roots that they used as protection against ghosts.

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats), bogs, forests, meadows and fields, swamps, wetland margins (edges of wetlands)

Characteristics

Habitat
  • terrestrial
  • wetlands
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
Leaf arrangement
alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
Number of leaves on stem
  • five
  • four
  • six or more
  • three
  • two
Form of lower petal
the labellum does not have a pouch-like shape
Lower petal outline
the labellum is fringed (it may or may not be lobed)
Main color of lower petal
  • blue to purple
  • pink to red
  • white
Nectar spur
the flower has at least one nectar spur on it
Inflorescence type
the inflorescence is a raceme (a long unbranched stem with stalked flowers growing along it)
Lower petal characteristics
  • the labellum has spurs on it
  • the labellum is fringed
  • the labellum is lobed
Lower petal length
10–25 mm
Sepal length
6–10 mm
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Flower petal color
    • pink
    • purple
    • white
    Flower symmetry
    there is only one way to evenly divide the flower (the flower is bilaterally symmetrical)
    Flowering date
    • August
    • July
    • June
    Flowers per inflorescence
    1–55
    Form of lower petal
    the labellum does not have a pouch-like shape
    Hairs on inflorescence axis
    the main stem of the inflorescence is hairless
    Inflorescence length
    75–250 mm
    Inflorescence type
    the inflorescence is a raceme (a long unbranched stem with stalked flowers growing along it)
    Inflorescence width
    50–90 mm
    Labellum position
    the labellum is in the lower position on the flower
    Length of narrowed base of lower petal
    0 mm
    Lobes at base of lower petal
    0 mm
    Lower petal characteristics
    • the labellum has spurs on it
    • the labellum is fringed
    • the labellum is lobed
    Lower petal length
    10–25 mm
    Lower petal outline
    the labellum is fringed (it may or may not be lobed)
    Lower petal strongly red-veined
    no
    Main color of lower petal
    • blue to purple
    • pink to red
    • white
    Nectar spur
    the flower has at least one nectar spur on it
    Nectar spur length
    15–35 mm
    Number of stamens
    1
    Orientation of side petals
    • the lateral petals are vertically oriented or nearly so
    • the lateral petals slant outward
    Pollen sacs
    the pollinia remain intact and do not fragment into smaller parts
    Self-pollinating flowers
    there are no cleistogamous flowers on this plant
    Sepal length
    6–10 mm
    Sepals fused only to sepals
    the sepals are separate from one another
    Shape of viscidium
    the viscidium is roughly circular
    Spots on lower petal
    no
    Spur opening membrane
    there is no membrane over the spur opening
    Spur opening shape
    the opening of the spur is roughly circular
  • Fruits or seeds
    Seed capsule orientation
    the capsule points upwards or is angled outwards
  • Growth form
    Plant green or not
    the plant is chlorophyllous (it has green parts)
    Roots
    the rhizomes do not resemble coral
    Underground organs
    • the plant has one or more swollen storage organs underground, such as bulbs, tubers or corms
    • there are only slender roots on the plant
  • Leaves
    Bract relative length
    • the bract is longer than the associated flower
    • the bract is shorter than the associated flower
    Features of leaves
    the leaf does not have any of the mentioned special features
    Leaf arrangement
    alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
    Leaf blade edges
    the edges of the leaf blade have no teeth
    Leaf blade length
    130–240 mm
    Leaf blade length to width ratio
    2.7–5.2
    Leaf blade shape
    • the leaf blade is elliptic (widest near the middle and tapering at both ends)
    • the leaf blade is lanceolate (lance-shaped; widest below the middle and tapering at both ends)
    • the leaf blade is oblong (rectangular but with rounded ends)
    • the leaf blade is obovate (egg-shaped, but with the widest point above the middle of the leaf blade)
    Leaf blade tip
    • the tip of the leaf blade is acute (sharply pointed)
    • the tip of the leaf blade is obtuse (bluntly pointed)
    Leaf blade width
    25–90 mm
    Leaves during flowering
    there are leaves on the plant when it is flowering
    Number of leaves on stem
    • five
    • four
    • six or more
    • three
    • two
  • Place
    Habitat
    • terrestrial
    • wetlands
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    • New Hampshire
    • Rhode Island
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    • bogs
    • edges of wetlands
    • forests
    • man-made or disturbed habitats
    • meadows or fields
    • swamps

Wetland Status

Usually occurs in wetlands, but occasionally in non-wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: FACW)

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
present
Maine
present
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
present
Rhode Island
present
Vermont
present

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

Native to North America?

Yes

Sometimes Confused With

Platanthera psycodes:
opening to spur horizontally rectangular or oblong and labellum 5-13 mm long (vs. P. grandiflora, with the opening to spur circular and labellum 10-25 mm long).

Synonyms

  • Blephariglotis grandiflora (Bigelow) Rydb.
  • Habenaria fimbriata (Ait.) R. Br. ex Ait. f.
  • Habenaria grandiflora (Bigelow) Torr.
  • Habenaria psycodes var. grandiflora (Bigelow) Gray

Family

Orchidaceae

Genus

Platanthera

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