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

Platanthera obtusata (Banks ex Pursh) Lindl.
one-leaved rein orchid
Orchidaceae (Orchid family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Bryan Kelly-McArthur  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #70550)

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Distribution of Platanthera obtusata
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Platanthera obtusata ssp. obtusata

Species Information

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Perennial herb, from a few fleshy-tuberous roots; stems 10-30 cm tall, without leaves.
Single basal leaf, oblanceolate to elliptic or egg-shaped, 5-15 cm long, 1-5 cm wide, blunt-tipped, long-tapering to base.
Inflorescence a terminal, loosely 3- to 15-flowered spike, bracted; flower bracts green and up to 15 mm long below, yellowish and much reduced above; flower stalks 1-5 mm long; flowers pale green to yellow-green, sometimes the lip or petals whitish; lower sepals 4-6 mm long, elliptic-lanceolate, somewhat bent back, the upper sepal kidney-shaped to nearly round, 3-4 mm long, somewhat erect, arching over column; petals broadly lanceolate, curved upward, contacting the upper sepal; lip 5-10 mm long, lance-linear, greenish-white, hanging downward with slightly up-curved tip; spur slender, pointed, tapering from base, somewhat curving, as long as lip; column 2-3.5 mm long.
Capsules, erect, ellipsoid, to 10 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist to wet forests, bogs, swamps and streambanks in the montane zone; infrequent throughout BC, except absent from the coast; N to AK, YT and NT, E to NF and S to ME, MA, NY, MI, WI, MN, CO, UT, ID and OR.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Platanthera obtusata

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) 8 982 1780
Slope Gradient (%) 0 8 77
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 325 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 4 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(1), BWBS(126), CWH(5), ESSF(31), ICH(40), IDF(38), MH(1), MS(40), SBPS(49), SBS(151), SWB(14)


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 montane boreal & cool temperate.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References