Page author: David Giblin
Platanthera elegans
hillside rein orchid, elegant rein-orchid

Distribution: Occurring on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia south to California, east to Idaho and Montana.

Habitat: Mostly in dry, open woods and hills where moist in spring.

Flowers: June-September

Origin: Native

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Scapose perennials with 1-2 tubers, the stems stout, 2-6 dm. tall.


1-3, basal, up to 20 cm. long and 3.5 cm. broad, oblanceolate and tapering to the sheathing base.


A many-flowered, spicate raceme up to 8 cm. long; scapes bracteate, the bracts lanceolate, often exceeding the lower flowers.


Sepals thin, greenish-white, 3.5-5 mm. long, 1-nerved, the upper one erect, triangular-lanceolate, the lateral pair oblong-lanceolate and somewhat reflexed; petals about the same length as the upper sepal, greenish or white with a green median stripe, erect; lip fleshy, white, lanceolate, slightly hastate at the base and partially fused with the lateral sepals and petals; spur slender, tapering from the base, 2-3 times as long as the lip, pale green at the base, darker green at the tip; stamens and style fused to form a column 1.5 mm. long.

Accepted Name:
Platanthera elegans Lindl.
Publication: Gen. Sp. Orchid. Pl., 285. 1835

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Habenaria elegans (Lindl.) Bol. [HC]
Piperia elegans (Lindl.) Rydb. [FNA26]
ssp. elegans – elegant rein orchid, hillside rein orchid    British Columbia to California, east to Montana
Additional Resources:

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

WA Flora Checklist: Platanthera elegans checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Platanthera elegans atlas page.

CalPhotos: Platanthera elegans photos.

USDA Plants: Platanthera elegans information.

24 photographs:
Group by