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

Platanthera dilatata var. albiflora (Pursh) Lindl. ex Beck (Cham.) Ledeb.
fragrant white rein orchid (scentbottle)
Orchidaceae (Orchid family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants
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Distribution of Platanthera dilatata var. albiflora
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from spindle-shaped stem-bases, with a few fibrous roots; stems 15-100 cm tall, leafy.
Basal and stem leaves oblong to linear or lanceolate, 10-30 cm long.
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.
Capsules, ascending to erect.
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

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

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.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


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 dilatata var. albiflora (Cham.) Correll
Limnorchis dilatata subsp. albiflora (Cham.) A. Löve & Simon

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References