White Fringed Orchid
State Status: N
PBS Status: Pennsylvania Endangered (PE)
Global Rank: G4G5
State Rank: S2S3
Did You Know?
Usually white flowers are pollinated by night-flying moths and brightly colored flowers are pollinated by day-flying butterllies, but this species is pollinated by boh butterflies and moths.
White fringed orchid (Platanthera blephariglottis) grows 40-75cm tall with a cylindrical cluster of flowers at the top of a leafy stem. Blooming from July into early August, the individual flowers have a fringed lip and a long slender spur. The leaves are alternately arranged on the stem below the flowers.
Imperiled in the nation or state because of rarity due to very restricted range, very few populations (often 20 or fewer), steep declines, or other factors making it very vulnerable to extirpation from the nation or state.
This species grows in sphagnum bogs, acidic swamps and other open boggy areas. It is often found with cranberry and various sedges in a bed of sphagnum moss.
Flowers June - August
In Pennsylvania eastern prairie fringed-orchid is limited to a few clusters of sites in the glaciated portions of the northeast and northwest and a few scattered sites at high elevations along the Allegheny Front.
The high moisture levels and very acidic soils that characterize the habitat of white fringed orchid provide protection from some types of disturbance. However, like many of our native orchids, this species is subject to damage from deer browsing. Shading due to forest succession could also be a problem in some sites.
Conservation Status Map
NatureServe. 2017. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available https://explorer.natureserve.org.
- NatureServe. 2018. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available at https://www.natureserve.org/explorer
- Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program. 2018.
- Rhoads, A.F. and W.M. Klein, Jr. 1993. The Vascular Flora of Pennsylvania. American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Rhoads, A.F. and T.A. Block.
- 2007. The Plants of Pennsylvania: An Illustrated Manual. 2nd edition. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.