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

Platanthera dilatata var. leucostachys (Pursh) Lindl. ex Beck (Lindl.) Luer
fragrant white rein orchid (Sierra bog orchid)
Orchidaceae (Orchid family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Bryan Kelly-McArthur  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #88110)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Platanthera dilatata var. leucostachys
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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


Ecological Framework for Platanthera dilatata var. leucostachys

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) 955 962 970
Slope Gradient (%) 0 30 60
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
220 220 220
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 4 7
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: ICH(1), SBS(1)


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. leucostachys (Lindl.) Ames
Habenaria leucostachys (Lindl.) S. Watson
Limnorchis graminifolia Rydb.
Platanthera leucostachys Lindl.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References