Bogs and Acidic Peatlands of Southern New England by Marsha C. Salett
Platanthera clavellata (Michx.) Luer
ORCHIDACEAE (Orchid Family)
EtymologyPlathanthera means wide or flat-anthered, from the Greek: platys = flat, wide, or broad + anthos = flower; clavellata means shaped like a small club, from the Latin: clava = knotty stick or club + ella = suffix for diminutive + atus = suffix for resembling.
Synonyms (Common Name)Small Green Wood Orchid, Small Green Wood Orchis, Green Woodland Orchis, Green Rein-orchid
DescriptionA perennial herb of acidic peatlands and wet soils, little club-spur orchid is one of the smallest and least conspicuous of its genus. Growing to 16" tall, it has greenish-white to yellowish-green flowers, which twist 90 ( so that they appear to be sideways.
Wetland indicator statusFACW+
Plant Height6-18 inches
LeavesSolitary (rarely 2), alternate, simple, entire, to 6" long; narrowly oblong to oblanceolate, low on stem; upper leaves reduced.
Flower/InflorescenceGreenish-white to yellowish-green, less than 1/4" long, 3-15 flowers on terminal spike to 2 1/2" long;lateral sepals ovate, dorsal sepal and petals form hood over fringeless lip; spur long and thin, thickest near tip; older flowers are twisted sideways so that spur is horizontal.
Flowering PeriodJuly-August
FruitCapsule with 3 partitions.
HabitatBogs, wet woods, acidic fens, wet meadows, seeps.
RangeNewfoundland to Minnesota, south to Florida and Texas.
(c) 1998-2006 Marsha C. Salett