Platanthera stricta grows in wet areas, such as shady forest meadows. It produces a slender, erect flowering stem up to about 80 centimeters tall. The longest leaves near the base of the stem are up to 11 centimeters long by 2.5 wide. The inflorescence has widely spaced green flowers, sometimes tinged red or purple. The sepals and petals are around half a centimeter long and each flower has a club-shaped spur.