Triphora trianthophora

(Swartz) Rydberg
Nodding Pogonia
Three Birds Orchid
Location Ontario.
Specific Habitat

Rich humus under loose dead leaves in hardwood forest. This plant exists chiefly underground, spreading by means of tubiferous stolons, sending up flowering shoots only in favourable years.

Flowering Season August.


Height 8-25 cm; stem green with purple shading, succulent, terete.
Alternating leaf-sheaths clasping the stem
Leaves: 2-8, green tinged with purple, ovate to cordate, with smooth margins.
Flowers: 1-6, borne on pedicels from the upper leaves, flowers white, suffused with pale pink or bright magenta, three parallel, denticulate green crests on the three-lobed lip.


When plants emerge, they grow quickly to the flowering stage. As each of the usual three buds matures, it opens for one day only; however, all mature buds of a colony open on the morning of a favourable day, probably following a night that has been cooler than normal (Case 1964a, Correll 1950, Luer 1975).
By producing an optimum number of flowers at one time, pollinators will more likely be lured and cross-fertilization take place.


Orchids of Ontario
The Native Orchids of the United States excluding Florida

Habitat Plant Flower

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