[Bog and Rein Orchids: The Genus Platanthera East of the Cascade
Mts. of Oregon and Washington]
Long-spurred Bog Orchid, Sierra Bog Orchid, White Bog Orchid
Platanthera dilatata var. leucostachys
Synonyms: Habenaria dilatata var. leuchostachys, Habenaria leucostachys, Limnorchis graminifolia, Limnorchis leucostachys, Limnorchis leucostachys var. leucostachys, Limnorchis leucostachys var. robusta, Platanthera leucostachys
The photo above shows a close-up of the flower of white bog orchid as seen in a riparian area at Irondyck Campground along the Lostine River in the Wallowa Mts. of northeastern Oregon..........July 9, 2007.
The photo at
right shows Platanthera leucostachys from Wildhorse Lake
Lake. the Steens Mt. in southeastern Oregon........July 16, 2000. Note
the greenish spurs which are about 1/4 times longer than the lower lips on the
White bog orchid is a lovely orchid of moist places, with single,
stout, hollow stems to 20-100 cm high. The fleshy sheathing leaves cover the
lower part of the stem. The lower leaves range from 5-20 cm long and 1-3 cm
wide, and may be even larger upwards on the glabrous stem. The lower leaves
range from lanceolate to oblong-elliptic.
The flowers are white, showy, and numerous, forming a spike
from 5-30 cm long at the apex of the stem. The raceme is commonly fairly dense
with only the lower flowers commonly not overlapping. The flowers are about
15-20 mm long with a lanceolate lip from 6-8 mm long, which is dilated at the
base. The spur is about 1.5 times as long as the lip, fairly slender and strongly
curved. The upper sepal and 2 petals form a hood. The lower 2 sepals spread
to each side of the flower.
Platanthera dilatata: This species is nearly identical to P.
leucostachys but has a shorter spur (roughly the same length as the lip) that
is less curved and thicker.
White bog orchid is a plant of wet meadows, moist forest edges,
and bogs or seeps.
Habenaria leucostachys is found
over much of North America. It may be found from Alaska south to California
and sporadically east of the Cascades to the western slopes of the Rocky Mts.
of Montana, Idaho, and Utah.
White bog orchid as seen in a riparian area at Irondyck Campground along the Lostine River in the Wallowa Mts. of northeastern Oregon........July 9, 2007.
Close-ups of the inflorescence of white bog orchid as seen in a riparian area along the Canyon Mountain Trail #218, Strawberry Mountain Wilderness..........August 1, 2011.
White bog orchid as seen in a vernal riparian area in meadows along Hat Pt. Road about 1 mile south of Memaloose in Hells Canyon National Recreation Area.........July 11, 2007. The long, narrow spur is evident here.
The 3 photos above show close-ups of the flowers and inflorescence of white bog orchid as seen from wet meadows along Butcher Bill Creek about one mile west of Penland Lake in the Umatilla National Forest........June 22, 2007. Other plants at this site include elephant's head and sitka burnet.
Platanthera leucostachys from Wildhorse
Lake Lake, the Steens Mt. in southeastern Oregon........July 16, 2000.
White bog orchid in bloom (left) at the east end of Pisgah Meadows, Ochoco National Forest..........June 13, 2015. The photos at center and at right show white bog orchids as seen in wetlands along Bond Creek near Hot Springs Campground, Hart Mt. National Antelope Refuge.......June 11, 2016.
White bog orchids blooming at left and center in a wet area along Forest Road 4011 several hundred yards below the trailhead for the Crane Mountain Trail, Fremont-Winema National Forest......June 30, 2019. The photo at right shows a close-up of the flowers of white bog orchid in bloom along the Lick Creek Trail #1809 at the Lick Creek crossing, Hells Canyon National Recreation Area......July 17, 2019.
White bog orchid in bloom (left) in a floating bog a mile or so south of Goodrich Meadows, Colville National Forest..........June 24, 2016. The photo at right shows the inflorescence of white bog orchid as seen in a moist area along the Line Butte Trail #807 on the south side of Lookout Mountain, Ochoco National Forest.........June 22, 2017.