Platanthera flava

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Pale green orchid
Platanthera flava var herbiola 1003081.JPG
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Orchidoideae
Genus: Platanthera
Species: P. flava
Binomial name
Platanthera flava

Platanthera flava, the palegreen orchid,[1] is a species of pale-flowered orchid. It is native to eastern North America, from Texas east to Florida, north to Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia.[2][3]

Platanthera flava has from 10-40 flowers in an inflorescence. In the north of its range, in Canada, this species is particularly associated with shorelines of lakes and rivers, in the seasonally flooded zone.[4] In Nova Scotia, it occurs in wet meadows on seasonally flooded shorelines with rare shoreline species such as Plymouth Gentian.[5] In the south, such as in Texas, it is found in wet savannas and flatwoods.[6] The shoreline habitats of the north are maintained by ice scour, while in the south, the flatwoods are maintained by recurring fire. Hence, it appears that this species depends upon recurring natural disturbance to maintain open sunny conditions.


Two varieties are recognized:

  • Platanthera flava var. flava - southern part of species range
  • Platanthera flava var. herbiola (R. Brown) Luer - northern part of species range


  1. ^ "Platanthera flava". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 7 October 2015. 
  2. ^ Sheviak, Charles J. (2002). "Platanthera flava". In Flora of North America Editorial Committee. Flora of North America North of Mexico (FNA). 26. New York and Oxford – via, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA. 
  3. ^ "Platanthera flava". County-level distribution map from the North American Plant Atlas (NAPA). Biota of North America Program (BONAP). 2014. 
  4. ^ Reddoch, J. and Reddoch, A. (1997). The Orchids in the Ottawa district. Canadian Field-Naturalist, 111, 1–185.
  5. ^ Keddy, P.A. 1985. Lakeshore plants in the Tusket River Valley, Nova Scotia: the distribution and status of some rare species including Coreopsis rosea and Sabatia kennedyana. Rhodora 87:309-320.
  6. ^ Liggio, J. and Liggio, A.O. 1999. Wild Orchids of Texas. University of Texas Press, Austin. p.139-141.

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