Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!


Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

Enter a Plant Name:
Or choose a plant family:
Platanthera grandiflora (Greater purple fringed orchid)
Cressler, Alan

Platanthera grandiflora

Platanthera grandiflora (Bigelow) Lindl.

Greater Purple Fringed Orchid

Orchidaceae (Orchid Family)

Synonym(s): Blephariglotis grandiflora, Habenaria fimbriata, Habenaria grandiflora, Habenaria psycodes var. grandiflora

USDA Symbol: PLGR2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N), SPM (N)

Deeply fringed, fragrant, lavender flowers in many-flowered, elongated clusters on a leafy stem.

A close-up of the individual flowers reveals the striking beauty of the fringed orchids. The method of pollination by moths is interesting. The pollen masses (pollinia) bear a sticky disk that protrudes below the anther. As the moth extends its tongue into the spur of the lip petal and then out again, it pulls the pollen mass from the anther and carries it to another flower where cross-pollination occurs. Small Purple Fringed Orchid (P. psycodes), occurring from Manitoba east to Newfoundland, south to Georgia, and northwest to Tennessee, Missouri, and Minnesota, has smaller flowers. Purple Fringeless Orchid (P. peramoena) has an unfringed lip petal; it grows from Pennsylvania and New Jersey south to Georgia, west to Arkansas, and north to Missouri and Illinois.


From the Image Gallery

16 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Complexity: Simple

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug
Bloom Notes: Blooms rarely white.


USA: CT , DE , GA , MA , MD , ME , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , TN , VA , VT , WV
Canada: NB , NL , NS , PE
Native Distribution: Ontario east to Newfoundland, south to Georgia, and north to Tennessee, West Virginia, Ohio, and Michigan.
Native Habitat: Cool moist woods, wet meadows, and swamp edges.

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the Archive

Wildflower Newsletter 1995 VOL. 12, NO.2 - Wildflower Center Opens April 8th through 9th, Grand Opening Schedule of Events,...

Additional resources

USDA: Find Platanthera grandiflora in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Platanthera grandiflora in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Platanthera grandiflora


Record Modified: 2014-09-25
Research By: TWC Staff

Go back