Wildflowers of the United States

Home Journal Family Index - All States Photo Albums News About Privacy

Small Purple Fringed Orchid, Lesser Purple Fringed Orchid, Lesser Purple Fringed Bog-orchid - Platanthera psycodes


Family: Orchidaceae - Orchid family Genus Common Name: Fringed Orchid Native Status: NativeMonocot Perennial Herb
Platanthera psycodes - Small Purple Fringed Orchid, Lesser Purple Fringed Orchid, Lesser Purple Fringed Bog-orchid. There are over 30 species of Platanthera (Fringed Orchid, although some are not fringed) in North America, with at least one species in every state in the United States and every province in Canada. Platanthera psycodes is an eastern species, being found from Minnesota eastward and south to Tennessee and Georgia. It is a plant of moist forests, seepages, and bogs.

Found in:
CT, DC, DE, GA, IA, IL, IN, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, SC, TN, VA, VT, WI, WV

Leave comments on Platanthera psycodes at this link.
Platanthera psycodes

Distribution of Platanthera psycodes in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2017. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 13 Dec 2017). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

Search Our Database: Enter any portion of the Scientific, Common Name, or both.
Scientific name:
Common name:

Example: Enter "lob" in the common name field and you'll get all our species that have "lobelia" in the common name, as well as "sharp-lobed hepatica".

Do a general Google search of the entire site:



Follow on Twitter
Follow USWildflowers on Twitter




Site: Clingman's Dome, GSMNP, Swain County, NC Date: 2014-June-28Photographer: Gerald C. Williamson
Nikon D7000
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
The inflorescence of Small Purple Fringed Orchid is a spike of rose-purple spurred flowers (all Platanthera are spurred). Among the characteristics that are different from the similar Platanthera grandiflora is the opening in the throat of the corolla - it is dumbbell-shaped in Platanthera psycodes and round or square in Platanthera grandiflora. The (apparently misspelled; should be psychodes) species epithet psycodes is derived from a Greek word meaning butterfly-like, referring to the shape of the flowers.
Platanthera psycodes

Site: Clingman's Dome, GSMNP, Swain County, NC Date: 2014-June-28Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Platanthera psycodes is very similar to Platanthera grandiflora - Large Purple Fringed Orchid. The latter has slightly larger flowers with the fringe on the lobed lower petal being at least one third of the length of the corolla lobes; P. psycodes fringes are less than one third the length of the lobe.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Platanthera psycodes

Site: Clingman's Dome, GSMNP, Swain County, NC Date: 2014-June-28Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Platanthera psycodes is a leafy plant growing to 4 feet tall. There are up to 5 leaves. They are clasping, with the lower ones forming a sheath around the stem. The leaves become significantly reduced up the stem, becoming bracts in the upper plant. This plant was photographed at the base of a wet, seeping rock bluff along the Clingman’s Dome parking lot.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Platanthera psycodes

Site: Clingman's Dome, GSMNP, Swain County, NC Date: 2014-June-28Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
The fragrant flowers of Platanthera psycodes have three petal-like sepals, with the lateral sepals shown in this photo spreading like wings. There are also three petals, the two lateral petals arise upward from the corolla, and they are minutely toothed. The central sepal is swept up behind the lateral petals in this photo, and that appears to be the normal position. The lower petal is 3-lobed and fringed.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Platanthera psycodes

References used for identification and information:

Commercial / Cookie Notice

Looking for Wildflowers for a specific state? Check here:



All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2017
Photographs Copyright owned by the named photographer