General: Perennial herb from spindle-shaped stem-bases, with a few fibrous roots; stems 15-100 cm tall, leafy.
Leaves: Basal and stem leaves oblong to linear or lanceolate, 10-30 cm long.
Flowers: Inflorescence a terminal, 5- to 30-flowered spike, the flowers white, very fragrant, unstalked; sepals 3-9 mm long, broadly lanceolate, 3(4)-veined, the upper sepal egg-shaped, erect, converging with the petals and forming a hood; petals 1- to 2-veined, slightly shorter and wider than sepals; lip linear-lanceolate to lanceolate, 5-10 mm long, strongly round-dilated at base; spur 5-10 mm long, slenderly cylindric to slightly club-shaped, slightly curved; column about 2 mm long.
Fruits: Capsules, ascending to erect.
Notes: Three varieties occur in BC:
1. Spurs up to two-thirds the length of lips.................... var. albiflora (Cham.) Ledeb.
1. Spurs equaling the lips or slightly longer.
2. Spurs 1.5-2 times longer than lips, very slender, strongly curved..................... var. leucostachys (Lindl.) Luer
2. Spurs about the length of the lips, not very slender, not strongly curved....................... var. dilatata
Wet meadows, seepage slopes, bogs, stream and lake margins and open forests in the montane to alpine zones; common throughout BC, except var. albiflora, rare in S BC; var. albiflora - N to AK, E to NF and S to CO, UT, ID and OR; var. dilatata - N to AK, YT and NT, E to ME, MA, NY, IN, IL, MN, SD, NM, UT, NV and OR; var. leucostachys - N to AK and S to WY, AZ and CA; Greenland.
A shade-intolerant, submontane to subalpine, Asian and transcontinental North American forb. Occurs on wet to very wet, nitrogenmedium soils within boreal, temperate, and cool mesothermal climates; its occurrence increases with increasing precipitation and continentality. Scattered on organic substrates in non-forested, semi-terrestrial communities and open-canopy forests on water-collecting sites. Characteristic of wetlands.
Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2020. E-Flora BC:
Electronic Atlas of the Plants of British Columbia [eflora.bc.ca]. Lab for
Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British
Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed:
2022-12-03 10:15:50 AM
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