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

Goodyera oblongifolia Raf.
rattlesnake-plantain (large-leaved rattlesnake orchid; western rattlesnake plantain)
Orchidaceae (Orchid family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Mark Gardiner  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #66582)

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Distribution of Goodyera oblongifolia
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from slender rhizomes and thickened roots; stems 20-40 cm tall, with bracts, lacking leaves, glandular-hairy.
In a basal cluster, the stalks 5-20 mm long, the blades usually oblong-elliptic, 3-7 cm long, dark green, usually blotched with white along midvein or white-veined.
Inflorescence a terminal, 1-sided and often spiraled, bracted, spikelike raceme, the flowers greenish-white, small; sepals 1-veined, lateral sepals about 5 mm long, the upper sepal 6-11 mm long, joined with lateral petals to form a hood over the lip; lip 5-7 mm long, pouchlike, beaked; column 3-5 mm long.
Capsules, ascending to erect, about 10 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry to moist, mossy forests in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; common throughout BC, south of 56 degrees N; N to AK, E to PQ, NB and NS and S to ME, MI, WI, NE, NM, AZ and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Goodyera oblongifolia

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) 0 1005 2854
Slope Gradient (%) 0 25 410
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 238 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 3 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: BWBS(40), CDF(60), CWH(1006), ESSF(1054), ICH(2948), IDF(1185), MH(73), MS(783), PP(17), SBPS(90), SBS(948), SWB(1)

Ecological Indicator Information

A shade-tolerant, submontane to subalpine, transcontinental North American forb. Occurs on moderately dry to fresh, nitrogen-poor soils within boreal, temperate, and cool mesothermal climates. Common in coniferous forests on water-shedding sites; on nutrient-rich sites it inhabits decaying wood. Usually associated with Hylocomium splendens, Pleurozium schreberi, Rhytidiadelphus loreus, and Rhytidiopsis robusta. An oxylophytic species characteristic of Mor humus forms.

SourceIndicator Plants of Coastal British Columbia (Information applies to coastal locations only)


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

Goodyera decipiens (Hook.) F.T. Hubbard
Goodyera oblongifolia var. reticulata Boivin
Peramium decipiens (Hook.) Piper
Peramium menziesii Lindl.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References