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Home > Landscaping > Native Plants for Western Washington Gardens and Restoration Projects



Platanthera dilatata

White Rein-Orchid, Bog Candle

Flowering Period: Jun, Jul, Aug June July August
Flower color: white
Full sun Mostly sunny
Wet soil Moist soil


At a Glance: Perennial orchid with spikes of white flowers from tuber-like roots.

Height: Up to 28 inches (70 cm).
Growth Form: Herb.
Stems: Stout, leafy.
Leaves: Alternate, oblong to broadly lance-shaped, sheathing, gradually getting smaller up the stem.
Flowers: White to greenish tinge, waxy, small but very fragrant, spur slender, cylindrical, curved longer than lip, 5-30 flowers in loose to densely packed terminal spikes.
Flowering Period: June, July, August.
Fruits: Elliptic capsules.

Platanthera dilatata
Photo © Ben Legler
Click to view larger Click to view larger


Sun/Shade Tolerance Hydrology Elevation Range
full sun > 80%
mostly sunny 60%-80%
partial sun and shade 40%- 60%
mostly shady 60%-80%
full shade > 80%

wet
moist
dry

Wetland Indicator Status:
FACW (facultative wetland)
low elevation
mid elevation
sub-alpine
high elevation


Soil Preferences
sandy soils
gravelly soils
clay soils
muddy soils
peaty soils
well drained soils
shallow soils
deep soils
acidic soils
basic soils
humic soils
nutrient rich soils
nutrient poor soils
mineral soils
organic soils

Habitat Preferences
Aquatic and Wetland:
Ponds or lakes
Shallow pools
Sloughs
Swales or wet ditches
Seasonally inundated areas
Marshes or swamps
Aquatic bed wetlands
Emergent wetlands
Scrub-shrub wetlands
Forested wetlands
Bogs, fens
Seeps, springs
Shorelines and Riparian:
Lake shores
Bog margins
Streams or rivers
Stream or river banks
Riparian corridors
River bars
Floodplains
Bottomlands
Alluvial areas
Saltwater Areas:
In or near saltwater
Mud flats
Tidal areas
Estuaries
Saltmarshes
Brackish water
Seashores
Coastal dunes or beaches
Rocky or Gravelly Areas:
Coastal bluffs
Cliffs
Rocky slopes
Outcrops
Crevices
Glacial outwash
Gullies
Slide areas
Sub-alpine and Alpine:
Heaths
Snow beds
Tundra
Avalanche tracks
Forests and Thickets:
Forests and woods
Open forests
Coniferous forests
Old growth forests
Deciduous forests
Mixed forests
Nurse logs
Forest edges, openings, or clearings
Thickets
Meadows and Fields:
Pastures or fields
Meadows or grassy areas
Mossy areas
Disturbed Areas:
Roadsides
Trailsides
Logged sites
Burned areas
Disturbed sites


Wildlife Value
(data not available)

Ethnobotanical Uses and Other Facts
Material Uses: The Shuswap used extracts as a poison on coyote and grizzly bait.
Food Uses: Tuber-like roots reportedly edible.
Toxicity: Some aboriginal groups consider it poisonous, exact poisonous nature not known..

Name Info: Rein orchid comes from the Latin habenas meaning strap or rein and refers to the thong-like shape of the lip and spur.
Interesting Facts: Very fragrant, often smelled before being seen.



Suggested References



The landscaping and restoration information provided on this page is taken from the Starflower Foundation Image Herbarium. All photographs © Starflower Foundation unless otherwise noted.