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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.

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Platanthera leucophaea (Prairie white fringed orchid)
Sherman, Doug

Platanthera leucophaea

Platanthera leucophaea (Nutt.) Lindl.

Prairie White Fringed Orchid, Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid, White Prairie Fringed Orchid

Orchidaceae (Orchid Family)

Synonym(s): Blephariglotis leucophaea, Habenaria leucophaea

USDA Symbol: PLLE2

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

Platanthera leucophaea is a white Platanthera with a 3-parted, deeply fringed lip petal.

Originally found in moist tallgrass prairie, sedge meadows, and bogs/fens from southern Ontario southwest to Oklahoma and southeast to Virginia, this orchid is now listed as threatened in the US and an endangered species by Canada's Species at Risk Act. Due to habitat loss, its populations are now scattered.


From the Image Gallery

2 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Complexity: Simple

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White


USA: IA , IL , IN , ME , MI , MO , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , VA , WI
Canada: MB , ON
Native Habitat: Bog/Fen

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil pH: Alkaline (pH>7.2)
CaCO3 Tolerance: High


Conspicuous Flowers: yes

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Threatened & Endangered Status

USFWS Species Profile: Q2GG
Status: Threatened
Historic Range: U.S.A. (AR, IA, IL, IN, ME, MI, MO, NE, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, VA, WI), Canada (Ont., N.B.)
Critical Habitat: N/A
Special Rules: N/A
This information is derived from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Serrvice Environmental Conservation Online System.

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.

Web Reference

Webref 3 - Flora of North America (2014) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 12 - Great Lakes Ecological Assessment: Threatened, Endangered, or Sensitive Species (2012) USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2012-10-11
Research By: TWC Staff

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