Platanthera aquilonis (Green Bog Orchid) - photos and description

Platanthera aquilonis

Platanthera aquilonis

Platanthera aquilonis
Anther sacs spread apart at base and touch or nearly touch near their tip

Platanthera aquilonis

General: Stout-stemmed orchid having a dense spike with many flowers.  Foliage yellow-green in colour. Plant glabrous.

Flowers: We counted more than 80 flowers on a big spike. We measured a spike at 13 cm long. Flowers yellow-green with a long lower lip, the lateral petals and dorsal sepal forming a hood over the column, the lateral sepals are spreading. We measured a flower at 1 cm long, and lip at 5 mm long. Lower lip is blunt-tipped, entire.

Leaves: Leaves are oval to oblanceolate, clasp the stem. We measured at 16 cm long and 4 cm wide (pressed flat).

Height: Listed in Budd's Flora to 60 cm, we measured plants to 39 cm tall.

Habitat: Bogs, and wet meadows, ditches, probably the most common orchid in the southern half of the province.

Abundance: Common.

Origin: Native.

Synonyms: Listed in some of the field guides we use as: Platanthera hyperborea, and as, Habenaria hyperborea.

Similar species: Very closely resembles Platanthera huronensis which is found in Manitoba, but as far as I know P. huronensis has yet to be found in Saskatchewan. To distinguish between the two species, you need to examine the flowers carefully with a loupe. The anther sacs of P. aquilonis converge / touch near their apex (as shown above), while those of P. huronensis are parallel to one another and separate at their apex.

When and where photographed: Photographed these plants June 23rd and June 24th in saline, wet prairie near our home in Regina, Saskatchewan.