Ed Golson Outdoor Education

Eastern prarie fringed orchid

Scientific Name: Plantanthera leucophaea

photo of eastern prairie fringed orchidDescription:  This is a threatened plant species in Michigan.  This plant can grow from .5 to 1 meter tall with a sprig of 10 to 40 white flowers on the top.  The flowers are about 2 cm. in diameter that break up into three parts.  The stem of this plant has leaves growing on it that are long and thin.  Being one of the later bloomers, this plant does not bloom until late June through July.  Seeds are produced as a result of the blooms that are released in August and September.

Habitat:  This plant has a limited variety of places it grows.  These places include bogs, wet prairies, and occasionally old fields.

Why is this plant threatened?  There are many reasons that this plant is threatened, but the largest reason is loss of habitat.  Other reasons that this plant is threatened are:  competition with alien species, human disruption of the water table, succession, and anything that harms the hawk moth that pollinates this plant.

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