Goodyera oblongifolia Raf.

giant rattlesnake-plantain

Copyright: various copyright holders. To reuse an image, please click it to see who you will need to contact.

New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

Found this plant? Take a photo and post a sighting.

North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

enlarge

Facts About

In New England, giant rattlesnake-plantain is confined to northern Maine and Vermont. It also occurs around the Great Lakes, as well as the western United States and Mexico. Unlike some other rare orchids, this one can be readily propagated using in vitro culture techniques, making it possibly less vulnerable to illegal collecting from the wild.

Habitat

Forests, swamps

Characteristics

Habitat
  • terrestrial
  • wetlands
New England state
  • Maine
  • Vermont
Leaf arrangement
basal: the leaves are growing only at the base of the plant
Number of leaves on stem
NA
Form of lower petal
the labellum has a pouch-like shape
Lower petal outline
the labellum is simple in form
Main color of lower petal
white
Nectar spur
there are no nectar spurs on the flower
Inflorescence type
the inflorescence is a spike (a long unbranched stem with flowers along it that lack stalks)
Lower petal characteristics
the labellum is in the shape of a pouch
Lower petal length
4.9–7.9 mm
Sepal length
5.7–7.8 mm
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Flower petal color
    • green
    • white
    Flower symmetry
    there is only one way to evenly divide the flower (the flower is bilaterally symmetrical)
    Flowering date
    • August
    • September
    Flowers per inflorescence
    10–48
    Form of lower petal
    the labellum has a pouch-like shape
    Hairs on flower stalk
    NA
    Hairs on inflorescence axis
    at least some of the hairs on the main stem of the inflorescence have glands
    Inflorescence length
    80–130 mm
    Inflorescence type
    the inflorescence is a spike (a long unbranched stem with flowers along it that lack stalks)
    Labellum position
    the labellum is in the lower position on the flower
    Length of flower stalk
    0 mm
    Length of narrowed base of lower petal
    0 mm
    Length of peduncle
    70–380 mm
    Lobes at base of lower petal
    0 mm
    Lower petal characteristics
    the labellum is in the shape of a pouch
    Lower petal length
    4.9–7.9 mm
    Lower petal outline
    the labellum is simple in form
    Lower petal strongly red-veined
    no
    Main color of lower petal
    white
    Nectar spur
    there are no nectar spurs on the flower
    Nectar spur length
    0 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
    5.7–7.8 mm
    Sepals fused only to sepals
    the sepals are separate from one another
    Spots on lower petal
    no
    Spur opening membrane
    NA
    Spur opening shape
    NA
  • Fruits or seeds
    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
    • there are only slender roots on the plant
    • this plant has a rhizome (a horizontal underground stem with roots growing from it)
  • Leaves
    Bract relative length
    the bract is shorter than the associated flower
    Features of leaves
    the leaf is roughly checkered with green and white markings
    Leaf arrangement
    basal: the leaves are growing only at the base of the plant
    Leaf blade edges
    the edges of the leaf blade have no teeth
    Leaf blade length
    25–102 mm
    Leaf blade length to width ratio
    1.9–2.9
    Leaf blade shape
    • the leaf blade is elliptic (widest near the middle and tapering at both ends)
    • the leaf blade is ovate (widest below the middle and broadly tapering at both ends)
    Leaf blade tip
    the tip of the leaf blade is acute (sharply pointed)
    Leaf blade width
    13–35 mm
    Leaves during flowering
    there are leaves on the plant when it is flowering
    Number of bracts on stem
    4–7
    Number of leaves on stem
    NA
  • Place
    Habitat
    • terrestrial
    • wetlands
    New England state
    • Maine
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    • forests
    • swamps

Wetland Status

Usually occurs in non-wetlands, but occasionally in wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: FACU)

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

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

Conservation Status

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

Maine
extremely rare (S-rank: S1), endangered (code: E)
Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)
Vermont
historical (S-rank: SH)

Native to North America?

Yes

Sometimes Confused With

Goodyera pubescens:
leaf blades usually with white coloration on the primary lateral veins and with white connecting cross veins and inflorescence dense, the spiral hardly discernable (vs. G. oblongifolia, with leaf blades usually white only on the midvein, or the white coloration definitely fading toward the margins and inflorescence less dense, the ascending spiral usually discernable).

Synonyms

  • Goodyera decipiens (Hook.) Piper
  • Peramium decipiens (Hook.) Piper

Family

Orchidaceae

Genus

Goodyera

Need Help?

Get Help

Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

1.  Goodyera oblongifolia Raf. NC

giant rattlesnake-plantain. Goodyera decipiens (Hook.) Piper; Peramium decipiens (Hook.) Piper • ME, VT; northern portion of states. Evergreen or mixed evergreen-deciduous forests, usually with a component of Picea rubens, Thuja occidentalis, and/or Abies balsamea.