Goodyera pubescens
(Willdenow) R. Brown in Aiton
[Epipactis willdenovii]
Downy Rattlesnake Plantain

Location Quebec, Ontario.
Specific Habitat

Wooded cover with acidic surfaces, such as bogs, coniferous swamps, mixed or hardwood forests. Sandy soil with humus. In all habitats it inhabits areas of dappled to deep shade with little other ground cover except mosses. Thinly scattered over a variety of bedrock types across the Canadian Shield.

Flowering Season Late July to September. In warm forests it flowers earlier than in cool bogs.

Height less than 30 cm.
Spike cylindrical, up to 80 flowers.
Leaves 4 - 8, short, very attractive, oblong - elliptical, bluish-green with prominent white veins throughout the leaves.
Flowers are white, sepals have greenish lateral veins.


Pubescens refers to the densely pubescent inflorescence. The leaves are most attractive and conspicuous. The rhizome creeps through humus, branching and elongating each year, forming large colonies. Goodyera pubescens is less boreal than the rest of the genus.


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


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