(pronounced: plah-TAN-ther-ah)


Orchideae subtribe Orchidinae

If you are an AOS Member, access OrchidPro online to browse and search over 100,000 photos of award-winning orchids and more.

If you are not an AOS member, discover the benefits of joining today


Terrestrials arising from fasciculate, fleshy, rarely tuberous roots. Stems erect. Leaves basal or along the stem. Inflorescences terminal, scapose, spicate racemes, usually densely-flowered. Flowers often showy, usually of one color. Sepals and petals free, the dorsal sepals and petals appressed forming weekly to strongly developed hood. Lip unlobed or three-lobed, the lobes entire or deeply laciniate-fimbriate, with a cylindric spur. Column short; pollinia 2, each on a viscidium.


A circumboreal genus of about 200 species.

Care and Culture Card

See basic growing conditions and care information below.


Bowles, M. L. 1983. The tallgrass prairie orchids Platanthera praeclara (Nutt.) Lindl. and Cypripedium candidum Muhl. ex Willd.: some aspects of the status, biology, and ecology, with implications toward management. Natural Areas Journal 3:14-37.

Bowles, M. L., R. Flakne and R. Dombeck 1992. Status and population fluctuations of the eastern prairie fringed orchid [Platanthera leucophaea (Nutt.) Lindl.] in Illinois. Erigenia 12:26-40.

Case, F. W., Jr. 1983. Platanthera x vossii, a new natural hybrid orchid from northern lower Michigan. Michigan Botanist 22(4):141-144.

Catling, P. M. 1984. Self-pollination and probable autogamy in Chamisso’s orchids, Platanthera chorisiana (Cham.) Rchb.f. Natural. Canad. 111:451-453.

Catling, P. M., V. R. Brownell and G. Allen 1999. A new natural hybrid fringed-orchid from Ontario. Lindleyana 14(2):77-86.

Catling, P. M. and V. R. Catling 1989. Observations of the pollination of Platanthera huronensis in southwest Colorado. Lindleyana 4(2):78-84.

Catling, P. M. and V. R. Catling 1994. Identification of Platanthera lacera hybrids (Orchidaceae) from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Lindleyana 9:19-32.

Catling, P. M. and V. R. Catling 1997. Morphological discrimination of Platanthera huronensis in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Lindleyana 12:72-78.

Cole, F. R. and D. H. Firmage 1984. The floral ecology of Platanthera blephariglottis. Amer. J. Bot. 71:700-710.

Coleman, R. A. 1991. The orchid genus Platanthera in California. Fremontia 19(2):19-22.

Defilipps, R. A. 1975. A new combination in Platanthera L. C. Rich. Amer. Orchid Soc. Bull. 44(5):405.

Duxbury, A. J. 1988. The western prairie fringed orchid (Platanthera praeclara Sheviak & Bowles) in the Great Plains, with particular reference to North Dakota. Proc. North Dakota Acad. Sci. 42:4.

Folsom, J. P. 1984. Una reinterpretacion del estatus y relaciones de las taxa del complejo de Platanthera ciliaris. Orquidea (Mex.) 9(2):321-336.

Hapeman, J. R. 1997. Pollination and floral biology of Platanthera peramoena (Orchidaceae). Lindleyana 12(1):19-25.

Inoue, K. 1983. Systematics of the genus Platanthera (Orchidaceae) in Japan and adjacent regions with special reference to pollination. J. Fac. Sci. Univ. Tokyo, sect. 3, Bot. 13:285-374.

Jurcák, J. 1999. Der innere Bau vegetativer Organe einiger europäischer Orchideen (Teil 3). Die Orchidee 50(5):78-80.

Light, M. H. S. and M. MacConaill 1989. Albinism in Platanthera hyperborea. Lindleyana 4(3):158-160.

MacRoberts, M. H. and B. R. MacRoberts 1990. Notes on the occurrence of Platanthera integra (Nutt.) A. Gray ex Beck (Orchidaceae) in western central Louisiana. Phytologia 69(5):378-381.

Nilsson, L. A. 1978. Pollination ecology and adaptation in Platanthera chlorantha (Orchidaceae). Bot. Notiser 131:35-51.

Nilsson, L. A. 1983. Processes of isolation and introgressive interplay between Platanthera bifolia (L.) Rich. and P. chlorantha (Custer) Reichb. (Orchidaceae). Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 87:325-350.

Nilsson, L. A. 1985. Characteristics and distribution of intermediates between Platanthera bifolia and P. chlorantha (Orchidaceae) in the Nordic countries. Nordic J. Bot. 5(5):407-419.

Patt, J. M. ##et al## 1989. Pollination biology of Platanthera stricta (Orchidaceae) in Olympic National Park, Washington. Amer. J. Bot. 76: 1097-1106.

Pleasants, J. M. and S. Moe 1993. Floral display size and pollination of the western prairie fringed orchid, Platanthera praeclara (Orchidaceae). Lindleyana 8(1):32-38.

Robertson, J. L. and R. Wyatt 1990. Reproductive biology of the yellow fringed orchid, Platanthera ciliaris. Amer. J. Bot. 77:388-398.

Robertson, J. L. and R. Wyatt 1990. Evidence for pollination ecotypes in the yellow-fringed orchid, Platanthera ciliaris. Evolution 44:121-133.

Schrenck, W. J. 1975. Zum problem der variabilität innerhalb der Gattung Platanthera L. C. Rich. (Habenaria Willd., s. l., p. p.) in Nordamerika. Die Orchidee 26:258-263.

Scrugli, A. and A. Cogoni 1990. Platanthera algeriensis Battandier et Trabut (Orchidaceae), specie nuova per la flora Italiana. Webbia 44(2):307-314.

Sheviak, C. J. 1987. On the occurrence of Platanthera leucophaea in Louisiana and Arkansas. Rhodora 89:347-350.

Sheviak, C. J. 1999. The identities of Platanthera hyperborea and P. huronensis, with the description of a new species from North America. Lindleyana 14(4):193-203.

Sheviak, C. J. and M. L. Bowles 1986. The prairie fringed orchids: a pollinator-isolated species pair. Rhodora 88:267-290.

Sheviak, C. J. and M. Bracht 1998. Chromosome numbers in the Platanthera hyperborea (L.) Lindl. complex. North Amer. Native Orchid J. 4:168-172.

Smith, G. R. and G. E. Snow 1976. Pollination ecology of Platanthera (Habenaria) ciliaris and P. blephariglottis (Orchidaceae). Bot. Gaz. 137:133-140.

Spooner, D. M. and J. S. Shelly 1983. The national historic distribution of Platanthera peramoena (A. Gray) A. Gray (Orchidaceae) and its status in Ohio. Rhodora 85:55-64.

Stoutamire, W. P. 1968. Mosquito pollination in Habenaria obtusata (Orchidaceae). Michigan Bot. 7:203-212.

Stoutamire, W. P. 1974. Relationships of the purple-fringed orchids Platanthera psychodes and P. grandiflora. Brittonia 26(1):42-58.

Thien, L. B. 1969. Mosquito pollination of Habenaria obtusata (Orchidaceae). Amer. J. Bot. 56:232-237.

Thien, L. B. and F. Utech 1970. The mode of pollination in Habenaria obtusata. Amer. J. Bot. 57:1031-1035.

Voss, E. G. and R. E. Riefner, Jr. 1983. A pyralid moth (Lepidoptera) as pollinator of blunt-leaf orchids. Great Lakes Entomologist 16:57-60.

Zettler, L. W., N. S. Ahuja and T. M. McInnis 1996. Insect pollination of the endangered monkey-face orchid (Platanthera integrilabia) in McMinn County, Tennessee -- one last glimpse of a once common spectacle. Castanea 61:14-24.

Zettler, L. W. and J. E. Fairey, III 1990. The status of Platanthera integrilabia, an endangered terrestrial orchid. Lindleyana 5(4):212-217.

Zettler, L. W. and T. M. McInnis, Jr. 1994. Light enhancement of symbitoic seed germination and development of an endangered terrestrial orchid (Platanthera integrilabia). Plant Sci. 102:133-138.