Goodyera pubescens

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Downy rattlesnake plantain
Goodyera pubescens - Curtis' 52 pl. 2540 (1825).jpg
1825 illustration from
Curtis's Botanical Magazine
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Orchidoideae
Genus: Goodyera
Species: G. pubescens
Binomial name
Goodyera pubescens
(Willd.) R.Br.[1]
Synonyms[2]
  • Neottia pubescens Willd.
  • Orchiodes pubescens (Willd.) Kuntze
  • Peramium pubescens (Willd.) Curtiss ex Small & Vail
  • Epipactis willdenovii House
  • Tussaca reticulata Raf.
  • Goodyera pubescens var. minor Sims
  • Peramium tesselatum A.Heller

Goodyera pubescens, the downy rattlesnake plantain, is one of the most common orchids native to eastern North America. It is found from Florida to Nova Scotia, west to eastern Oklahoma, Minnesota and Ontario.[2][3]

Goodyera pubescens is an evergreen terrestrial herb with variegated leaves. The variegation is in the form of a densely reticulated network of veins that are a much lighter green than the rest of the leaf tissue. It is a creeping plant that divides on the ground surface and sends out short stolons. It may be terrestrial or, occasionally, epipetric, growing on rock shelves. It prefers mildly to moderately acidic soils, such as in oak-heath forests.[4]

Goodyera pubescens along a mountain trail in central New Hampshire.

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