Platanthera stricta
Lindley
[Platanthera dilatata ] (Pursch) Lindley [var. gracilis ] Ledebour
Slender Bog Orchid
Location Alberta, British Columbia.

Specific Habitat

Damp meadows or along streams where moisture is available, in the mountains of the west.

Flowering Season May to September.

Description

Height to 1 m., slender, usually with relatively short leaves.
Leaves: up to 10, oblong to obtuse, the larger clasping the stem below, becoming bracts above.
Flowers similar to P. hyperborea are remotely spaced on a long wand-like spike, becoming crowded at the apex where buds are forming.
Flowers: yellow-green to deep green, sometimes with a faint purple edging. Dorsal sepal forms a hood with the petals; lip elliptic, obtuse. The most distinctive feature is the short, saccate spur, usually less than half the length of the lip, and terminated by a bulbous, sometimes nearly bilobed scrotiform sac.

Comments

Very distinct when seen in the field, but extremely similar to other slender forms of varieties in the dilatata hyperborea complex. While isolated in the mountains of the west long enough to evolve a few readily identifiable characteristics, when the plant is dried and mounted on herbarium sheets, differentiation of taxa becomes difficult, partly because intermediate forms are common.

References

The Native Orchids of the United States and Canada excluding Florida

Habitat Plant Flower

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