Platanthera ciliaris (L.) Lindl.

orange fringed bog-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

Within New England, orange fringed bog-orchid is found mainly on the coastal plain in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, although it is widely distributed in the southeastern United States. Because this species apparently prefers moist, sunny, open areas, it is vulnerable to natural succession, and shading by woody vegetation has contributed to disappearance of some populations and declines in others. Unusually for an orchid, orange fringed bog-orchid relies on butterflies for pollination, particularly swallowtails (Papilio).

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats), meadows and fields, swamps, wetland margins (edges of wetlands)

Characteristics

Habitat
  • terrestrial
  • wetlands
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Massachusetts
  • Rhode Island
Leaf arrangement
alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
Number of leaves on stem
  • one
  • three
  • two
Form of lower petal
the labellum does not have a pouch-like shape
Lower petal outline
the labellum is fringed (it may or may not be lobed)
Main color of lower petal
  • orange
  • yellow
Nectar spur
the flower has at least one nectar spur on it
Inflorescence type
the inflorescence is a spike (a long unbranched stem with flowers along it that lack stalks)
Lower petal characteristics
  • the labellum has spurs on it
  • the labellum is fringed
  • the labellum is simple in form
Lower petal length
8–19 mm
Sepal length
6–8 mm
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Flower petal color
    • orange
    • yellow
    Flower symmetry
    there is only one way to evenly divide the flower (the flower is bilaterally symmetrical)
    Flowering date
    • August
    • July
    • September
    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
    50–150 mm
    Inflorescence type
    the inflorescence is a spike (a long unbranched stem with flowers along it that lack stalks)
    Inflorescence width
    40–80 mm
    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
    Lobes at base of lower petal
    0 mm
    Lower petal characteristics
    • the labellum has spurs on it
    • the labellum is fringed
    • the labellum is simple in form
    Lower petal length
    8–19 mm
    Lower petal outline
    the labellum is fringed (it may or may not be lobed)
    Lower petal strongly red-veined
    no
    Main color of lower petal
    • orange
    • yellow
    Nectar spur
    the flower has at least one nectar spur on it
    Nectar spur length
    20–35 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
    6–8 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
    there is no membrane over the spur opening
    Spur opening shape
    the opening of the spur is roughly shaped like a keyhole
  • 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
    • 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 shorter 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
    50–400 mm
    Leaf blade length to width ratio
    6.7–8.3
    Leaf blade shape
    • the leaf blade is elliptic (widest near the middle and tapering at both ends)
    • the leaf blade is lanceolate (lance-shaped; widest below the middle and tapering at both ends)
    Leaf blade tip
    • the tip of the leaf blade is acuminate (tapers to a long, thin point)
    • the tip of the leaf blade is acute (sharply pointed)
    Leaf blade width
    6–60 mm
    Leaves during flowering
    there are leaves on the plant when it is flowering
    Number of leaves on stem
    • one
    • three
    • two
  • Place
    Habitat
    • terrestrial
    • wetlands
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Massachusetts
    • Rhode Island
    Specific habitat
    • edges of wetlands
    • man-made or disturbed habitats
    • meadows or fields
    • swamps

Wetland Status

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

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

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

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
historical (S-rank: SH), #NAME? (code: #NAME?)
Rhode Island
extremely rare (S-rank: S1), state endangered (code: SE)

Native to North America?

Yes

Sometimes Confused With

Platanthera cristata

Synonyms

  • Blephariglottis ciliaris (L.) Rydb.
  • Habenaria ciliaris (L.) R. Br. ex Ait. f.

Family

Orchidaceae

Genus

Platanthera

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

3.  Platanthera ciliaris (L.) Lindl. NC

orange fringed bog-orchid. Blephariglottis ciliaris (L.) Rydb.; Habenaria ciliaris (L.) R. Br. ex Ait. f. • CT, MA, RI. Sandy and peaty meadows, wetland borders, lawns, sandy soils of swamps. Reports of this species from VT are likely based on specimens of Platanthera blephariglottis (see Jenkins and Zika 1995 for discussion). Reports of this species from NH are highly suspect. The specimen—Aug 1872, Jesup s.n. ( NHA!)—includes an herbarium label with hand-penned location data that is also the location of the Jesup Herbarium. It is unclear if the label data applies to the location of collection or location of the museum. Given that most collections of this species are from the greater coastal plain, it is doubtful that this species would occur in the interior of NH.