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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.

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Triphora trianthophora (Threebirds)
Cressler, Alan

Triphora trianthophora

Triphora trianthophora (Sw.) Rydb.

Threebirds, Three-birds Orchid

Orchidaceae (Orchid Family)

Synonym(s): Triphora trianthophora var. schaffneri

USDA Symbol: TRTR3

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

Small, ovate, clasping leaves scattered along a fragile stem and 1 pink or white, nodding flower rising from each axil of uppermost 1-6 (usually 3) leaves.

As the common names imply, each flower resembles a small bird in flight. The plant may remain dormant for long periods, with the underground tuber giving rise to a new stem after several years; when the flowers bloom, they last only one day. Five species of this genus are known in the United States; the four others grow in Florida. Of these, the most common is Ricketts Three-birds Orchid (T. rickettii), with leaves spreading away from the stem, both leaf surfaces green, and 1-8 erect flowers.

 

From the Image Gallery

10 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Flower:
Fruit:

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct

Distribution

USA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MO , MS , NC , NE , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , SC , TN , TX , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: ON
Native Distribution: Ontario; Maine south to Florida, west to Texas, and north to Nebraska, Iowa, and Wisconsin.
Native Habitat: Rich woods, swamp edges, and floodplains.

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Organic, Humus Enriched

Benefit

Conspicuous Flowers: yes

National Wetland Indicator Status

Region:AGCPAKAWCBEMPGPHIMWNCNEWMVE
Status: FACW UPL FACU FACU FACU
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.

Additional resources

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

Metadata

Record Modified: 2014-08-20
Research By: TWC Staff

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