Coeloglossum viride (Long-bracted Orchid) - photos and description

15 cm ruler










General: Stout, glabrous plants with a leafy inflorescence.

Flowers: Flower spike with many greenish-yellow flowers, measured to 15 mm long, 5 mm wide, the lip having 2 teeth at the apex (and a smaller middle tooth). The flower spike is full of leafy bracts, the bracts linear in shape. A small ball-shaped spur grows behind the lip.

Leaves: Alternate, cauline, sessile, lanceolate to oblanceolate. The leaf highlighted in the photo above was 8.5 cm long by 2.5 cm wide.

Height: Height is listed in Budd's Flora to 60 cm tall, we measured plants to 46 cm tall.

Habitat: Moist meadows and open woods.

Abundance: Uncommon, listed as an S4 by the Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre (as of 2023).

Origin: Native.

Synonym: Listed in some of the field guides we use as Habenaria viridis var. bracteata.

Similar species: This plant can be confused with Plantanthera aquilonsis. Examine the flower lip to distinguish between the two, that plant does not have 2 teeth on its flower lip, while Coeloglossum viride does have a lip with 2 teeth.

When and where photographed: Photographed this plant June 3rd in the Porcupine Forest south of Hudson Bay, about 400 km north of Regina, June 18th Mixed woods Cypress Hills about 450 km southwest or Regina, and June 22nd moist aspen woods about 70 km south east of our home in Regina, SK.