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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.



Dieter H. Wilken and William F. Jennings

Perennial, terrestrial in CA, some nongreen, generally from rhizomes
Leaves linear to ± round or scale-like, generally sessile
Inflorescence: generally raceme or spike, bracted
Flower bisexual, bilateral, sometimes spurred; sepals generally 3, generally petal-like, generally free, uppermost generally erect; petals 3, lowest different ("lip"); stamen generally 1, fused with style and stigma into column, pollen generally sticky, generally removed as sessile anther sacs; ovary inferior, generally twisted 180° (so lip appears to be lowest perianth segment), 1-chambered, placentas 3, parietal; stigmas 3, generally under column tip
Fruit: capsule
Seeds very many, minute
Genera in family: ± 800 genera, ± 18,000 species: especially tropical (worldwide except deserts). Many cultivated for ornamental, especially Cattelya, Cymbidium, Epidendrum, Oncidium, Paphiopedalum; Vanilla planifolia fruits used as source of food flavoring
Reference: [Luer 1975 Orchids US and Can, NY Bot Garden; Coleman 1995 Wild Orchids of California, Cornell Univ.]
Nongreen plants derive nutrition through fungal intermediates.



Caudex cylindric to fusiform
Leaves basal and cauline; basal 1–2 generally < lower cauline; cauline linear to elliptic, gradually reduced upward
Inflorescence generally spike; flower bracts leaf-like
Flower: perianth white to greenish; sepals ± equal, upper generally hood-like, lower free, generally spreading; lateral petals generally erect; lip pendent to upcurved, spurred from back; column ± erect, tip (often the stigma) separating pollen sacs
Fruit ascending to erect
Species in genus: ± 85 species: temp North America, Eurasia
Etymology: (Greek: wide anther)


P. leucostachys Lindl.


Plant 15–100 cm
Leaves: cauline 5–25 cm, 9–30 mm wide
Inflorescence 5–35 cm, generally dense; lower bracts 9–25 mm
Flower: perianth white to cream; sepals 4–8 mm; lip 5–10 mm, abruptly wider below middle, pendent; spur 5–15 mm, 1–2 X lip in CA, generally cylindric, ± curved; column generally < 1/2 upper sepal
Chromosomes: 2n=42
Ecology: Wet, generally open places, meadows
Elevation: < 3400 m.
Bioregional distribution: California Floristic Province (except Great Central Valley), Great Basin Floristic Province, n Desert Mountains (Panamint Mtns)
Distribution outside California: to Alaska, Montana, Utah
Flowering time: May–Sep
Synonyms: Habenaria dilatata (Pursh) Hook. var. l. (Lindl.) Ames
Plants with spur ± = lip and barely curved have been incorrectly called P. dilatata (Pursh) Hook., of n North America
Horticultural information: IRR, DRN: 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 14, 15, 16, 17; DFCLT.

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bioregional map for PLATANTHERA%20leucostachys being generated
N.B. The distribution depicted here differs from that given in The Jepson Manual (1993)

Retrieve Jepson Interchange Index to Plant Names entry for Platanthera leucostachys
Retrieve dichotomous key for Platanthera
Overlay Consortium of California Herbaria specimen data by county on this map
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