small purple fringed orchid

(Platanthera psycodes)

Conservation Status
small purple fringed orchid
 
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

N5? - Secure

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
Wetland Indicator Status
     
  Great Plains

FACW - Facultative wetland

     
  Midwest

FACW - Facultative wetland

     
  Northcentral & Northeast

FACW - Facultative wetland

     
           
 
Description
 
 

Small purple fringed orchid is a 17 to 40 tall, slender, perennial, easily recognized orchid. It rises on a single stem from an underground tuber and 4 to 10 fleshy roots. The tuber is slender, vertical, and 1¼ to 3 long. The roots are slender, thickened near the base, and 1¼ to 3 long.

The stem is erect, stout, light green, hairless, and leafy, especially in the lower two-thirds.

There are 4 to 12 alternate leaves scattered along the stem. They are stalkless and wrap around the stem at the base (sheathing). They may be widely spreading, ascending, or bent backward near the tip. The lowest 2 to 4 leaves are large, lance-shaped, oblong ellipse-shaped, or oblong egg-shaped, 4 to 6¾ long, and ¾ to 2¾ wide. The upper and lower surfaces are hairless. The margins are untoothed. The leaves become gradually or abruptly shorter and narrower as they ascend the stem. Upper leaves are reduced to bracts.

The inflorescence is loose to dense, 1½ to 8½ long spike of 20 to 25 flowers at the end of the stem. Each flower is subtended by a hairless, untoothed, lance-shaped or linear bract. The bracts in the lower part of the inflorescence are 1½ to 2 long. They become gradually smaller as they approach the top of the inflorescence, where they are only about to long.

The flowers are stalked, showy, fragrant, and more than in diameter. They are upside down due to the twisting of the flower stalk. There are 3 lavender to rose-purple petals (2 lateral and one lower) alternating with 3 lavender to rose-purple, petal-like sepals (2 lateral and one upper). The filaments and style are united to form a column. The sepals are oblong to elliptic or inversely egg-shaped, to ¼ long, untoothed, and hairless. The lateral petals are inversely egg-shaped to spoon-shaped and are irregularly and shallowly toothed at the tip. The upper sepal and two lateral petals spread upward and forward over the lower petal and column. The two lateral sepals are bent backward or spread to the sides of the lower petal. The lower (lip) petal is ¼ to ½ long, ¼ to 9 16 wide, and projects forward or downward. It is deeply divided into 3 fan-shaped segments. Each segment is fringed less than half way to the base. The lateral segments are slightly elevated above the lower segment. The lower segment is often 2-lobed. The base of the petal is modified into a narrow, curved, to long spur.

The fruit is several erect, narrowly ellipse-shaped, ribbed, ¼ to ½ long capsules.

 
     
 

Height

 
 

17 to 40

 
     
 

Flower Color

 
 

Purple

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
 

No similar species in Minnesota.

Greater purple fringed orchid (Platanthera grandiflora) is similar in appearance but does not occur in Minnesota.

 
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Wet meadows; sedge meadows; thickets; thin woods; and shallow, moist, roadside ditches. Areas that are wet in spring and after a rain but are otherwise moist. Full or partial sun.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Flowering

 
 

July 3 to August 20

 
     
 

Longevity

 
 

Small purple fringed orchid is said to be long-lived, yet no part of the plant is ever more than 1½ years old. A new underground tuber is produced at the base of the aerial stem each year. During the summer the tuber separates from the aerial stem but remains attached by an underground stem (rhizome). The tuber generates roots but remains otherwise dormant for the rest of the growing season. The tuber is the only part of the plant that survives the winter and it is from the tuber that a new aerial stem rises the following spring.

 
     
 
Use
 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 24, 25, 28.

 
  1/21/2014      
         
 

Nativity

 
 

Native

 
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Uncommon

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Liliopsida (monocots)  
 

Order

Asparagales (agaves, orchids, irises, and allies)  
 

Family

Orchidaceae (orchids)  
  Subfamily Orchidoideae  
  Tribe Orchideae  
 

Genus

Platanthera (bog orchid, fringed orchid)  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Blephariglotis psycodes

Blephariglottis psycodes

Habenaria psycodes

Platanthera psychodes

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

lesser purple fringed orchid

purple fringed orchid

small purple fringed orchid

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Bract

Modified leaf at the base of a flower stalk, flower cluster, or inflorescence.

 

Column

The united filaments and style of an orchid. The structure formed by the united filaments of plants in the Mallow family.

 

Filament

On plants: The thread-like stalk of a stamen which supports the anther. On Lepidoptera: One of a pair of long, thin, fleshy extensions extending from the thorax, and sometimes also from the abdomen, of a caterpillar.

 

Rhizome

A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.

 

Sepal

An outer floral leaf, usually green but sometimes colored, at the base of a flower.

 

Tuber

An underground root (as with dahlias) or stem (as with potatoes), thickened by the accumulation of reserved food (usually starch), which serves for food storage and vegetative propagation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       
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Bill Reynolds
       
  small purple fringed orchid    
       
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
   

Plant

  small purple fringed orchid   small purple fringed orchid
       
  small purple fringed orchid   small purple fringed orchid
       
  small purple fringed orchid    
       

Inflorescence

  small purple fringed orchid   small purple fringed orchid
       
  small purple fringed orchid   small purple fringed orchid
       
  small purple fringed orchid   small purple fringed orchid
       

Flowers

  small purple fringed orchid   small purple fringed orchid
       
  small purple fringed orchid    
       

Leaves

  small purple fringed orchid    
       
       

 

Camera

     
Slideshows
   
  Platanthera psycodes (Purple Fringed-Orchid)
Allen Chartier
 
  Platanthera psycodes (Purple Fringed-Orchid)  
     
  Platanthera psycodes
Joshua Mayer
 
  Platanthera psycodes  
 
About

Purple Fringed Orchid

 
     

 

slideshow

       
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Bill Reynolds
7/25/2009

Location: Pennington Co.

 

small purple fringed orchid


     
     
 
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Created: 1/21/2014

Last Updated:

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