Coeloglossum viride (L.) Hartman

long-bracted green orchid

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Long-bracted green orchid inhabits a range of mesic to wet-mesic habitats in all New England states. This is one of the most common orchids in terms of its worldwide distribution. The Ojibwa considered this plant a love charm, varieties of mischief ensuing.

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats), fens, forests, meadows and fields, swamps

Characteristics

Habitat
  • terrestrial
  • wetlands
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
Leaf arrangement
alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
Number of leaves on stem
  • five
  • four
  • three
  • two
Form of lower petal
the labellum does not have a pouch-like shape
Lower petal outline
the labellum is lobed but not fringed
Main color of lower petal
  • blue to purple
  • green to brown
Nectar spur
the flower has at least one nectar spur on it
Inflorescence type
the inflorescence is a raceme (a long unbranched stem with stalked flowers growing along it)
Lower petal characteristics
  • the labellum has spurs on it
  • the labellum is lobed
Lower petal length
3–10 mm
Sepal length
3–8 mm
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Flower petal color
    green
    Flower symmetry
    there is only one way to evenly divide the flower (the flower is bilaterally symmetrical)
    Flowering date
    • August
    • July
    • June
    • May
    • September
    Flowers per inflorescence
    At least 5
    Form of lower petal
    the labellum does not have a pouch-like shape
    Hairs on inflorescence axis
    the main stem of the inflorescence is hairless
    Inflorescence length
    50–200 mm
    Inflorescence type
    the inflorescence is a raceme (a long unbranched stem with stalked flowers growing along it)
    Labellum position
    the labellum is in the lower position on the flower
    Length of narrowed base of lower petal
    0 mm
    Lobes at base of lower petal
    0 mm
    Lower petal characteristics
    • the labellum has spurs on it
    • the labellum is lobed
    Lower petal length
    3–10 mm
    Lower petal outline
    the labellum is lobed but not fringed
    Lower petal strongly red-veined
    no
    Main color of lower petal
    • blue to purple
    • green to brown
    Nectar spur
    the flower has at least one nectar spur on it
    Nectar spur length
    2–3 mm
    Number of stamens
    1
    Orientation of side petals
    the lateral petals are angled steeply upwards
    Self-pollinating flowers
    there are no cleistogamous flowers on this plant
    Sepal length
    3–8 mm
    Spots on lower petal
    no
    Spur opening membrane
    the spur opening is at least partially covered with a membrane
  • Fruits or seeds
    Fruit length
    7–14 mm
    Fruit width
    4–5 mm
    Seed capsule orientation
    the capsule points upwards or is angled outwards
  • Growth form
    Plant green or not
    the plant is chlorophyllous (it has green parts)
    Roots
    the rhizomes do not resemble coral
    Underground organs
    • the plant has one or more swollen storage organs underground, such as bulbs, tubers or corms
    • there are only slender roots on the plant
  • Leaves
    Bract relative length
    the bract is longer than the associated flower
    Features of leaves
    the leaf does not have any of the mentioned special features
    Leaf arrangement
    alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
    Leaf blade edges
    the edges of the leaf blade have no teeth
    Leaf blade length
    20–180 mm
    Leaf blade length to width ratio
    2–2.6
    Leaf blade shape
    • the leaf blade is lanceolate (lance-shaped; widest below the middle and tapering at both ends)
    • the leaf blade is oblanceolate (lance-shaped, but with the widest point above the middle of the leaf blade)
    • the leaf blade is obovate (egg-shaped, but with the widest point above the middle of the leaf blade)
    Leaf blade tip
    • the tip of the leaf blade is acute (sharply pointed)
    • the tip of the leaf blade is obtuse (bluntly pointed)
    Leaf blade width
    10–70 mm
    Leaves during flowering
    there are leaves on the plant when it is flowering
    Number of bracts on stem
    0
    Number of leaves on stem
    • five
    • four
    • three
    • two
  • Place
    Habitat
    • terrestrial
    • wetlands
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    • New Hampshire
    • Rhode Island
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    • fens
    • forests
    • man-made or disturbed habitats
    • meadows or fields
    • swamps

Wetland Status

Occurs in wetlands or non-wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: FAC)

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
present
Maine
present
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
present
Rhode Island
present
Vermont
present

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Connecticut
extremely rare (S-rank: S1), endangered (code: E)
Massachusetts
uncommon (S-rank: S3), #NAME? (code: #NAME?)
New Hampshire
uncommon (S-rank: S3), W (code: W)
Rhode Island
state threatened (code: ST)
Vermont
uncommon (S-rank: S3)

var.virescens

Connecticut
extremely rare (S-rank: S1)

Native to North America?

Yes

Sometimes Confused With

Platanthera aquilonis:
labellum unlobed and floral bracts not or only shortly surpassing the flowers (vs. C. viride, with the labellum three-lobed, with the middle lobe the shortest, and floral bracts conspicuously surpassing the flowers).

Synonyms

  • Coeloglossum bracteatum (Muhl. ex Willd.) Parl.
  • Coeloglossum viride (L.) Hartman var. virescens (Muhl. ex Willd.) Luer
  • Dactylorhiza viridis (L.) R.M. Bateman
  • Habenaria bracteata (Muhl. ex Willd.) R. Br. ex Ait. f.
  • Habenaria viridis (L.) R. Br. var. bracteata (Muhl. ex Willd.) Reigenb. ex Gray

Family

Orchidaceae

Genus

Coeloglossum

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

1.  Coeloglossum viride (L.) Hartman N

long-bracted green orchid. Coeloglossum bracteatum (Muhl. ex Willd.) Parl.; C. viride (L.) Hartman var. virescens (Muhl. ex Willd.) Luer; Dactylorhiza viridis (L.) R.M. Bateman, Pridgeon, 
& M.W. Chase; Habenaria bracteata (Muhl. ex Willd.) R. Br. ex Ait. f.; H. viridis (L.) R. Br. 
var. bracteata (Muhl. ex Willd.) Reigenb. ex Gray • CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT. Mesic to wet-mesic deciduous and evergreen-deciduous forests, fens, swamps, meadows.