Platanthera sparsiflora
canyon bog orchid

Distribution: Known only from Skamania County in Washington; south-central Washington to Baja California, east to Colorado and New Mexico.

Habitat: Wet meadows, fens, and seeps.

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Herbaceous perennials, 20-125 cm tall or greater, erect to slightly decumbent, somewhat succulent; stems not angled; roots fasciculate, slender and tuberous, fleshy.


Leaves few to several, ascending to recurved and spreading, dispersed along stem or gathered near base, becoming reduced to bracts distally either gradually or abruptly; blades sessile, folded slightly lengthwise, ovate-elliptic or oblong-elliptic or oblanceolate-elliptic to linear, 6.5-30 cm long and 0.8-5 cm broad.


Inflorescence sparsely- or densely-flowered spike; flowers resupinate, pale yellowish green to pale green, not showy; lateral sepals bent sharply backwards or occasionally spreading; petals ovate-falcate to lance-falcate, margins entire; labellum bent downward, linear to oblong or linear-lanceolate, a thickened median basal ridge present or not, 4.5-11 mm long and 0.6-3 mm broad, margins entire; spur somewhat club-shaped to cylindric or attenuate toward an acute apex; rostellum lobes slightly to strongly spreading apart, extending forward, rounded-subangular to rounded, relatively prominent to minute and obscure; pollinaria 2, not curved; pollinia 2, remaining within anther sacs; viscidia free, orbiculate to oblong; stigma entire; ovary slender to stout, generally 5-14 mm.

Fruits :

Capsules, ellipsoid to cylindric.

Accepted Name:
Platanthera sparsiflora (S. Watson) Schltr.
Publication: Bull. Herb. Boissier. 7: 538. 1899.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Habenaria sparsiflora S. Watson [HC]
Additional Resources:

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

WA Flora Checklist: Platanthera sparsiflora checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Platanthera sparsiflora atlas page.

CalPhotos: Platanthera sparsiflora photos.

USDA Plants: Platanthera sparsiflora information.

7 photographs:
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