Goodyera repens
(Linnaeus) R. Brown in Aiton var. ophioides Fernald
[Epipactis repens, G. ophiodes]
Lesser Rattlesnake Plantain

Location Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba.
Specific Habitat

A mainly eastern variety which occupies primarily the Mixed Forest Region and adjacent Boreal Forest Region, thinly scattered across the Canadian Shield, and rarely present on the Lowlands. Found in cool shade of evergreen woods, also on thick moss under spruce or cedar. .

Flowering Season

Late July to end of August.


Height less than 10 cm. Creeping root system.
Leaves in a basal rosette, ovate, acute, often very small; dark green with veins bordered with pale tissue lacking chlorophyl, forming reticulations.
Spike more or less one-sided.
Flowers whitish with green or brownish pink, with tiny hairs on the outside.


A circumboreal species, the smallest of the genus. Prefers wetter, "cold bottom" locations than others in the genus. Possibly hybridizes with G. tesselata (Kallunki, 1976).


Orchids of Ontario
The Canadian Field-Naturalist Vol III - 1
The Orchids of Bruce & Grey


© Royal Botanical Gardens, Dr. Donald Gunn Image Collection.