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Vascular Plants of California
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Platanthera dilatata var. leucostachys

Higher Taxonomy
Family: OrchidaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Perennial herb, terrestrial [growing on other pls], non-green (nutrition from association of roots with fungi) or green, generally from rhizomes or tubers with few to many fleshy to slender roots; cauline leaves +- reduced to sheathing stem bracts or not. Leaf: 1--many, basal to cauline, linear to +- round, alternate to opposite (if only 1 pair), generally sessile. Inflorescence: flowers 1--many, spike or raceme, bracted. Flower: bisexual, bilateral, in bud generally rotating 180° by twisting ovary (position of parts indicated after twisting); sepals generally 3, generally free, generally petal-like, uppermost generally erect, lateral with chin- or spur-like projection (mentum) or not; petals 3, 1 (lip) different, spurred or not; stamens generally 1 (3 in Cypripedium, 2 functional, 1 a staminode), fused with style, stigma into column, pollen generally lumped, generally removed as unit by insect; ovary inferior, 1-chambered, placentas 3, parietal, stigma 3 lobed, generally under column tip. Fruit: capsule. Seed: many, minute.
Genera In Family: +- 800 genera, +- 25000 species: especially tropics (worldwide except Antarctica). Many cultivated for ornament, especially Cattleya, Cymbidium, Epidendrum, Oncidium, Paphiopedilum; Vanilla planifolia Andrews fruits used to flavor food. Note: Platanthera may be paraphyletic without inclusion of Piperia (Bateman et al. 2009 Ann Bot 104:431--445); study needed.
eFlora Treatment Author: Ronald A. Coleman, Dieter H. Wilken & William F. Jennings, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Ronald A. Coleman, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: PlatantheraView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: BOG-ORCHID
Habit: Rhizome tuber-like, elongate. Leaf: cauline, alternate, linear to elliptic or lanceolate, gradually reduced upward, with 1 lengthwise fold. Inflorescence: generally spike; flower bracts leaf-like. Flower: perianth white to yellow-green or green; sepals +- equal, upper generally hood-like, lower free, generally spreading; lateral petals generally erect, lip spurred, pendent to upcurved; column +- erect. Fruit: ascending to erect.
Etymology: (Greek: wide anther) Note: Identification often difficult due to intermediates, hybrids; additional species expected in California. Platanthera hyperborea (L.) Lindl. not in California.
Unabridged Note: In California, > 1 sp. often occurs in a given area and blooms at +- the same time, yielding many hybrids and hybrid swarms, including some that have not been named, e.g., Platanthera dilatata × Platanthera tescamnis, as well as others that have, e.g., Platanthera ×estesii W.J. Schrenk (Platanthera dilatata × Platanthera stricta) and Platanthera ×lassenii W.J. Schrenk (Platanthera dilatata × Platanthera sparsiflora). Some purported hybrids, e.g., Platanthera ×correllii W.J. Schrenk and Platanthera ×media (Rydb.) Luer, now treated as a synonym of Platanthera huronensis (Nutt.) Lindl., do not occur in California.
eFlora Treatment Author: Ronald A. Coleman
Reference: Sheviak & Jennings 2006 Rhodora 108:19--33
Unabridged Reference: Colwell et al. 2007 Madroño 54:86--93
Platanthera dilatata (Pursh) Lindl. ex L.C. Beck var. leucostachys (Lindl.) Luer
Habit: Plant 15--150 cm. Leaf: 5--35 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, +- lanceolate, spur 5--15 mm, generally >= 1.5 × lip, generally cylindric, +- curved; column generally < 1/2 hood formed by upper sepal, petals. Chromosomes: 2n=42.
Ecology: Wet, generally open places, meadows, seeps, streambanks; Elevation: < 3400 m. Bioregional Distribution: CA-FP (exc GV), GB, n DMtns (Panamint Range); Distribution Outside California: to Alaska, Montana, Utah, Nevada. Flowering Time: May--Sep Note: Hybridizes with Platanthera sparsiflora (Platanthera ×lassenii W.J. Schrenk), Platanthera stricta (Platanthera ×estesii W.J. Schrenk), Platanthera tescamnis (unnamed).
Synonyms: Platanthera leucostachys Lindl.; Habenaria dilatata (Pursh) Hook. var. leucostachys (Lindl.) Ames
Jepson eFlora Author: Ronald A. Coleman
Reference: Sheviak & Jennings 2006 Rhodora 108:19--33
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Botanical illustration including Platanthera dilatata var. leucostachys

botanical illustration including Platanthera dilatata var. leucostachys


Citation for this treatment: Ronald A. Coleman 2012, Platanthera dilatata var. leucostachys, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on August 19, 2022.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2022, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on August 19, 2022.

Platanthera dilatata var. leucostachys
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© 2017 Keir Morse
Platanthera dilatata var. leucostachys
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© 2013 Vernon Smith
Platanthera dilatata var. leucostachys
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© 2009 Neal Kramer
Platanthera dilatata var. leucostachys
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© 1999 Larry Blakely
Platanthera dilatata var. leucostachys
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© 2009 Keir Morse
Platanthera dilatata var. leucostachys
click for enlargement
© 2009 Keir Morse

More photos of Platanthera dilatata var. leucostachys in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Platanthera dilatata var. leucostachys:
CA-FP (exc GV), GB, n DMtns (Panamint Range)
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).