Downy Rattlesnake Plantain was first named Neottia pubescens, by Willdenow; at the time, Neottia encompassed orchids now classified in several different genera. Gardeners should not collect Downy Rattlesnake Plantain in the wild and should be certain that all native plants purchased for home gardens have been nursery-propagated, not wild-collected. Rattlesnake plantain (Goodyera oblongifolia) is a terrestrial perennial monocot in the orchid family, Orchidaceae, rising from a fibrous rhizome. Asters, Craggy Gardens Trail. Lateral petals are white; sepals have a greenish surface.

In Australia, we have some orchids that have very similarly veined, blue-green leaves. It was Robert Brown who recognized Goodyera as a distinct genus, and he published the binomial by which we now refer to this species in 1813. Seedling establishment requires assistance from soil fungi, from which the orchid derives the organic molecules it needs until it can make its own food via photosynthesis in its leaves. Leaves are present year-round, bluish-green, with prominent white veins; on each leaf, a broad midvein is flanked by two smaller veins that arise near the base of the blade and converge near the apex. The flower stalk can rise 6 to 18 inches above the low-growing basal rosette of evergreen leaves. Yet, they are neither plantains … It can be found on dry to moist upland sites in deciduous and coniferous forests, usually in sandy, acidic soils, and sometimes growing on moss. Mid-spring on Allegheny National Forest. Nevertheless, like all native plants, its populations are subject to habitat alteration. Downy Rattlesnake Plantain is described as easy to grow in a woodland garden situation. Yet, they are neither plantains nor weeds, but orchids (family Orchidaceae). Further, the stigma, style, and, in this case, one anther, are complexly fused to form a central column. Downy Rattlesnake Plantain can be found throughout Virginia. Ever since, I’ve been waiting for the plant to come into flower. Photographs by W. John Hayden and Nicky Staunton Its dark-green, oval leaves (4 to 8 in number and 1½ to 2½ inches long) lay low to the ground in a circular arrangement around a central growing point (basal rosette) and may persist for three to four years. Seedling establishment requires assistance from soil fungi, from which the orchid derives the organic molecules it needs until it can make its own food via photosynthesis in its leaves. Goodyera pubescens is a small, low herb 20-40 cm tall in flower. ( Log Out /  Also typical of ­orchids, the seeds of this species are minute and dustlike, bearing few nutrients to assist in the establishment of new seedlings. USDA PLANTS Database. Flowers are pollinated by bumblebees and other native bee species. 1400 Independence Ave., SW ( Log Out /  The conservation status of Goodyera pubescens is secure at present. It occurs in the entire eastern half of the U.S. and Canada from Ontario and Quebec south to Oklahoma, Mississippi and Florida. Each flower, subtended by a narrow bract, is initially more 
or less circular in outline, but petals and sepals later diverge, transforming the circle to a roughly triangular outline.

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