Page author: David Giblin
Platanthera dilatata
scent bottle, bog candle, boreal bog orchid, white orchid, white rein orchid
WTU specimens
Other herbaria
WTU images

Distribution: Widely distributed through the mountainous and forested areas of Washington; Alaska south to California, east to the Rocky Mountains; also in northeastern in North America.

Habitat: Wet meadows, forest openings, and streambanks from low elevations to the subalpine.

Flowers: June-September

Origin: Native

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Herbaceous perennial with single, densely flowered inflorescences up to 3 ft. tall.


Simple, alternate, glabrous, lanceolate, tapering in width from base to tip.


Sepals and petals white, sepals widely spreading, two of the petals upright and arching, forming hood-like appearance; lip widest at base and often hanging downward, spurred at base.


Capsules, brown at maturity and containing large numbers of tiny seeds.

Identification Notes:

Flowers with a sweet, spicy fragrance; plants often growing together in fairly large numbers.

Accepted Name:
Platanthera dilatata (Pursh) Lindl. ex L.C. Beck
Publication: Bot. North. Middle States. 347. 1833. 1833.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Habenaria dilatata (Pursh) Hook. [HC]
var. albiflora – white bog orchid
var. dilatata – white bog orchid
var. leucostachys – white bog orchid
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Platanthera dilatata in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Platanthera dilatata checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Platanthera dilatata atlas page.

CalPhotos: Platanthera dilatata photos.

USDA Plants: Platanthera dilatata information.

73 photographs:
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