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

Platanthera stricta Lindl.
slender rein orchid (slender bog orchid)
Orchidaceae (Orchid family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Rosemary Taylor  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #60575)

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Distribution of Platanthera stricta
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from tuberous, spindle-shaped stem-bases, with a few fibrous roots; stems 35-80 (100) cm tall, stout, leafy.
Lowest oblong-elliptic, 3-10 cm long, over 1/3 as wide, tips rounded to blunt, the other leaves 5-15 cm long, lanceolate, tips pointed, reducing into bracts above, the leaves generally widely diverging from stem.
Inflorescence a slender, open spike, the flowers small, green, usually lightly scented, bracted, the bracts of the lower flowers 2-5 cm long, leaflike, much reduced in upper flowers; lateral sepals 4-6 mm long, broadly lanceolate, thin, 3-veined, spreading, the upper sepal broadly egg-shaped, slightly hooded at tip, 3-5 mm long; petals lanceolate to egg-shaped, fleshy, often purplish-tinged, asymmetric, in close contact with upper sepal, forming a hood; lip narrowly oblong or linear, 5-8 mm long; spur generally much shorter than lip but sometimes nearly as long, inflated, scrotum- or sac-shaped, only slightly, if at all curved; column short and thick, about 2 mm long.
Capsules, erect, to 15 mm long.
Although spurs of P. stricta are generally much shorter than the lips, many plants from Vancouver Island populations have scrotum-like spurs nearly as long as their linear lips. Occasionally, spurs much longer than the lips are found - such plants probably are hybrids between P. stricta and P. dilatata var. leuchostachys. Plants referred to P. gracilis are included within the range of variation of P. stricta - they are florally similar to slender-spurred extremes of P. stricta and differ only in reduced leaves.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist meadows, coniferous forests, swamps and bogs in the montane zone; common throughout BC south of 55 degrees N, rare northward; N to AK and YT, E to AB and S to SD, NM, AZ and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Platanthera stricta

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) 1 950 2099
Slope Gradient (%) 0 13 95
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 143 360
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: AT(4), CWH(167), ESSF(140), ICH(71), IDF(1), IMA(1), MH(53), MS(11), SBPS(1), SBS(7)


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 var. viridiflora (Cham.) S.L. Welsh
Habenaria saccata Greene
Habenaria stricta (Lindl.) Rydb.
Limnorchis saccata (Greene) A. L÷ve & Simon
Limnorchis stricta (Lindl.) Rydb.
Limnorchis viridiflora (Cham.) Rydb.
Platanthera convallariifolia (Fisch.) Lindl.
Platanthera dilatata var. gracilis Ledeb.
Platanthera hyperborea var. viridiflora (Cham.) Luer
Platanthera saccata (Greene) HultΘn

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References