Dactylorhiza viridis (Long-bracted Orchid) - photos and description

15 cm ruler


General: Stout, glabrous plants with a leafy inflorescence.

Flowers: Flowers yellowish-green, are many in a flower spike, a flower measured to 15 mm long, 5 mm wide. The flowers have a large lip with two prominent teeth on either side of the end of the lip (and sometimes with a smaller middle tooth). The lateral petals and sepals form a hood over the lip.

 A small ball-shaped spur grows behind the lip.

Leaves: Alternate, cauline, sessile, lanceolate to oblanceolate. The leaf highlighted in the photo above was 8.5 cm long by 2.5 cm wide.

Height: Height is listed in Budd's Flora to 60 cm tall, we measured plants to 46 cm tall.

Habitat: Moist meadows and open woods.

Abundance: Uncommon, listed as an S4 by the Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre (as of 2023).

Origin: Native.

Synonym: Listed in some of the field guides we use as Coeloglussum viride, and Habenaria viridis var. bracteata.

Similar species: This plant can be confused with Plantanthera aquilonsis. Examine the flower lip to distinguish between the two, that plant does not have 2 teeth on its flower lip, while Coeloglossum viride does have a lip with 2 teeth.

When and where photographed: Photographed this plant June 3rd in the Porcupine Forest south of Hudson Bay, about 400 km north of Regina, June 18th Mixed woods Cypress Hills about 450 km southwest or Regina, and June 22nd moist aspen woods about 70 km south east of our home in Regina, SK.