E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Platanthera aquilonis Sheviak
northern green rein orchid (northern green bog orchid; northern green orchid)
Orchidaceae (Orchid family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Bryan Kelly-McArthur  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #79481)

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Distribution of Platanthera aquilonis
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from lance- to spindle-shaped stem-bases, with a few fibrous roots; stems 5-60 cm tall, thick, soft, leafy.
3 or more along stem, oblong to linear-lanceolate, 3-25 cm long, 0.4-4 cm wide, ascending to spreading, gradually reduced to bracts above.
Inflorescence a few- to densely-flowered spike, the flowers small, yellowish-green, with bracts; lateral sepals spreading to bent back, lanceolate, the upper sepal egg-shaped to nearly elliptic, slightly hooded at tip; petals egg-shaped to lance or scythe-shaped; lip rhomboid to lanceolate, 2.5-6 mm long, 1-1.5 mm wide, descending, entire, the base not round-dilated; spur 2-5 mm long, club-shaped or sometimes somewhat cylindrical; anther sacs appearing atop stigma, the tips close together or touching, the bases widely diverging; viscidia round.
Capsules, ascending to erect.
Much of what has been identifed as P. hyperborea (L.) Lindl. in BC is P. aquilonis. Some material could be P. huronensis. Collections of P. hyperborea from Vancouver Island most likely are P. stricta. Further field collections are required to understand the distribution of P. aquilonis and P. huronensis in BC.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Wet meadows, grassy slopes, stream and lake margins, bogs, swamps and open forests in the montane to alpine zones; common in BC, east of the Coast-Cascade mountains; N to AK, YT and NT, E to NF and S to PA, NE, NM, UT, ID, OR, and WA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Platanthera aquilonis

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 8 1247 2283
Slope Gradient (%) 0 9 75
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 46 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 5 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BAFA(2), BG(1), BWBS(24), CWH(7), ESSF(175), ICH(84), IDF(17), MH(15), MS(36), PP(1), SBPS(5), SBS(29), SWB(3)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Habenaria hyperborea auct. non (L.) R. Br.
Platanthera hyperborea (L.) Lindl.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References