Goodyera repens (L.) R. Br. in Ait. & Ait. f.

dwarf rattlesnake-plantain

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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

Dwarf rattlesnake-plantain is a very small orchid with long, creeping rhizomes that produce scattered spikes with usually secund flowers, and basal rosettes of small leaves with the characteristic white reticulate markings.

Habitat

Forests, swamps

Characteristics

Habitat
  • terrestrial
  • wetlands
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Vermont
Leaf arrangement
basal: the leaves are growing only at the base of the plant
Number of leaves on stem
absent
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
1.8–4.8 mm
Sepal length
3–5.2 mm
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Flower petal color
    white
    Flower symmetry
    there is only one way to evenly divide the flower (the flower is bilaterally symmetrical)
    Flowering date
    • August
    • July
    Flowers per inflorescence
    7–36
    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
    30–60 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
    30–180 mm
    Lobes at base of lower petal
    0 mm
    Lower petal characteristics
    the labellum is in the shape of a pouch
    Lower petal length
    1.8–4.8 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
    3–5.2 mm
    Sepals fused only to sepals
    the sepals are separate from one another
    Shape of viscidium
    the viscidium is roughly circular
    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 longer than the associated flower
    • the bract is shorter than the associated flower
    Features of leaves
    • the leaf does not have any of the mentioned special features
    • 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
    11–32 mm
    Leaf blade length to width ratio
    1.8–2.2
    Leaf blade shape
    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)
    • the tip of the leaf blade is obtuse (bluntly pointed)
    Leaf blade width
    5–18 mm
    Leaves during flowering
    there are leaves on the plant when it is flowering
    Number of bracts on stem
    2–5
    Number of leaves on stem
    absent
  • Place
    Habitat
    • terrestrial
    • wetlands
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    • New Hampshire
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    • forests
    • swamps

Wetland Status

Not classified

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

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

Conservation Status

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

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

var. ophioides

Connecticut
historical (S-rank: SH), special concern, extirpated (code: SC*)

Native to North America?

Yes

Sometimes Confused With

Goodyera tesselata:
flowers spirally arranged, leaf blades with 5-9 nerves, and sac-like portion of lower petal (the labellum) longer than deep (vs. G. repens, with flowers usually arranged in a one-sided array, leaf blades with usually 5 nerves, and sac-like portion of lower petal (the labellum) as deep as wide).
Goodyera pubescens:
spike cylindric, equally dense on all sides, the spiral of flowers hardly discernible, and scape with 4–14 bracts (vs. G. repens, with the spike less dense, with secund flowers, and scape with 2-7 bracts).

Synonyms

  • Goodyera ophioides (Fern.) Rydb.
  • Goodyera repens (L.) R. Br. in Ait. & Ait. f. var. ophioides Fern.
  • Peramium ophioides (Fern.) Rydb.
  • Satyrium repens L.

Family

Orchidaceae

Genus

Goodyera

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

3.  Goodyera repens (L.) R. Br. in Ait. & Ait. f. N

dwarf rattlesnake-plantain. Goodyera ophioides (Fern.) Rydb.; G. repens (L.) R. Br. in Ait. & Ait. f. var. ophioides Fern.; Peramium ophioides (Fern.) Rydb.; Satyrium repens L. • CT, MA, ME, NH, VT. Evergreen and mixed evergreen-deciduous forests, usually growing on humus-rich soil and/or with bryophytes.