If you would like to support this site, please consider Donating.
Useful Temperate Plants

Platanthera bifolia

(L.) Rich.

Orchidaceae

+ Synonyms

Orchis bifolia L.

Orchis alba Lam.

Lysias bifolia (L.) Salisb.

Habenaria bifolia (L.) R.Br.

Sieberia bifolia (L.) Spreng.

Satyrium bifolium (L.) Wahlenb.

Gymnadenia bifolia (L.) G.Mey.

Conopsidium stenantherum Wallr.

Orchis stenanthera E.H.L.Krause

Orchis paucifolia Gaterau

Orchis ochroleuca Ten.

Platanthera brachyglossa (Wallr.) Rchb.

Habenaria fornicata Bab.

Conopsidium platantherum Wallr.

Platanthera solstitialis Boenn. ex Drejer

Platanthera wankelii Rchb.

Platanthera pervia Peterm.

Platanthera satyrioides Rchb.f.

Platanthera schuriana Fuss

Platanthera boenninghauseniana F.H.Wilms

Platanthera reichenbachiana F.H.Wilms

Platanthera chlorantha wankelii (Rchb.) Nyman

Platanthera carducciana Goiran

Platanthera subalpina Brügger

Platanthera viricimaculata Kraenzl.

Platanthera montana lancifolia Rohlena

Orchis platanthera (Wallr.) E.H.L.Krause

Platanthera lancifolia (Rohlena) A.W.Hill

Platanthera chlorantha lancifolia (Rohlena) Soó

Platanthera major (Besser) Linding.

Platanthera kuenkelei H.Baumann

Platanthera fornicate (Bab.) Buttler

Platanthera atropatanica (B.Baumann, H.Baumann, R.Lorenz & Ruedi Peter) P.Delfo

Common Name: Butterfly Orchid

No Image.

General Information

Platanthera bifolia is a herbaceous perennial orchid growing from a fleshy rootstock; it can grow up to 50cm tall[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and a medicine.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

17
Title
Flora of the British Isles.
Publication
 
Author
Clapham, Tutin and Warburg.
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Year
1962
ISBN
-
Description
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.

Range

Eurasia - Norway to Portugal and Spain, through almost all Europe east to Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Turkey and Iran; N. Africa - Algeria, Tunisia

Habitat

Grassy hills and open woods on base-rich and especially on calcareous soils[
17
Title
Flora of the British Isles.
Publication
 
Author
Clapham, Tutin and Warburg.
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Year
1962
ISBN
-
Description
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
HabitPerennial
Height0.50 m
PollinatorsLepidoptera
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details


Easily grown in a sunny position in a moist loam enriched with leaf mould[
42
Title
Hardy Bulbs.
Publication
 
Author
Grey. C. H.
Publisher
Williams & Norgate.
Year
1938
ISBN
-
Description
Rather dated now, but an immense work on bulbs for temperate zones and how to grow them. Three large volumes.
]. Flourishes in almost any soil and situation[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
,
42
Title
Hardy Bulbs.
Publication
 
Author
Grey. C. H.
Publisher
Williams & Norgate.
Year
1938
ISBN
-
Description
Rather dated now, but an immense work on bulbs for temperate zones and how to grow them. Three large volumes.
]. Prefers a moderately shady and well-drained though damp position[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
].
Orchids are, in general, shallow-rooting plants of well-drained low-fertility soils. Their symbiotic relationship with a fungus in the soil allows them to obtain sufficient nutrients and be able to compete successfully with other plants. They are very sensitive to the addition of fertilizers or fungicides since these can harm the symbiotic fungus and thus kill the orchid[
230
Title
Hardy Orchids. Orchids for the Garden and Frost-free Greenhouse.
Publication
 
Author
Cribb. P. & Bailes. C.
Publisher
Christopher Helm. London.
Year
1989
ISBN
0 7470 0416 1
Description
An excellent book looking at the orchids that can be grown outdoors in temperate climates and giving lots of information on how to grow them. Very lttle information on their uses.
].
The flowers diffuse a most seductive perfume at night and are pollinated by the night hawk moth[
245
Title
Scented Flora of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Genders. R.
Publisher
Robert Hale. London.
Year
1994
ISBN
0-7090-5440-8
Description
An excellent, comprehensive book on scented plants giving a few other plant uses and brief cultivation details. There are no illustrations.
].
Hybridizes freely with several species of the genus Orchis[
42
Title
Hardy Bulbs.
Publication
 
Author
Grey. C. H.
Publisher
Williams & Norgate.
Year
1938
ISBN
-
Description
Rather dated now, but an immense work on bulbs for temperate zones and how to grow them. Three large volumes.
].

Edible Uses

Tuber - cooked[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
,
61
Title
A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Publication
 
Author
Usher. G.
Publisher
Constable
Year
1974
ISBN
0094579202
Description
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
,
177
Title
Plants for Human Consumption
Publication
 
Author
Kunkel. G.
Publisher
Koeltz Scientific Books
Year
1984
ISBN
3874292169
Description
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of Latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
]. It is a source of 'salep', a fine white to yellowish-white powder that is obtained by drying the tuber and grinding it into a powder[
2
Title
Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Hedrick. U. P.
Publisher
Dover Publications
Year
1972
ISBN
0-486-20459-6
Description
Lots of entries, quite a lot of information in most entries and references.
,
105
Title
Tanaka's Cyclopedia of Edible Plants of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Tanaka. T. & Nakao S.
Publisher
Keigaku Publishing; Tokyo
Year
1976
ISBN
-
Description
The most comprehensive list of edible plants I've come across. Only the briefest entry for each species, though, and some of the entries are more than a little dubious. Not for the casual reader.
,
177
Title
Plants for Human Consumption
Publication
 
Author
Kunkel. G.
Publisher
Koeltz Scientific Books
Year
1984
ISBN
3874292169
Description
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of Latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
,
183
Title
Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications
Year
1990
ISBN
0-9628087-0-9
Description
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
]. Salep is a starch-like substance with a sweetish taste and a faint somewhat unpleasant smell[
4
Title
A Modern Herbal.
Publication
 
Author
Grieve.
Publisher
Penguin
Year
1984
ISBN
0-14-046-440-9
Description
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
]. It is said to be very nutritious and is made into a drink or can be added to cereals and used in making bread etc[
5
Title
Food for Free.
Publication
 
Author
Mabey. R.
Publisher
Collins
Year
1974
ISBN
0-00-219060-5
Description
Edible wild plants found in Britain. Fairly comprehensive, very few pictures and rather optimistic on the desirability of some of the plants.
,
100
Title
Flowers of Europe - A Field Guide.
Publication
 
Author
Polunin. O.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1969
ISBN
0192176218
Description
An excellent and well illustrated pocket guide for those with very large pockets. Also gives some details on plant uses.
,
183
Title
Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications
Year
1990
ISBN
0-9628087-0-9
Description
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
]. One ounce of salep is said to be enough to sustain a person for a day[
100
Title
Flowers of Europe - A Field Guide.
Publication
 
Author
Polunin. O.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1969
ISBN
0192176218
Description
An excellent and well illustrated pocket guide for those with very large pockets. Also gives some details on plant uses.
,
115
Title
The Useful Plants of Great Britain.
Publication
 
Author
Johnson. C. P.
Publisher
 
Year
 
ISBN
 
Description
Written about a hundred years ago, but still a very good guide to the useful plants of Britain.
].

Medicinal

Salep (see above for more details) is very nutritive and demulcent[
4
Title
A Modern Herbal.
Publication
 
Author
Grieve.
Publisher
Penguin
Year
1984
ISBN
0-14-046-440-9
Description
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
]. It has been used as a diet of special value for children and convalescents, being boiled with water, flavoured and prepared in the same way as arrowroot[
4
Title
A Modern Herbal.
Publication
 
Author
Grieve.
Publisher
Penguin
Year
1984
ISBN
0-14-046-440-9
Description
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
]. Rich in mucilage, it forms a soothing and demulcent jelly that is used in the treatment of irritations of the gastro-intestinal canal[
4
Title
A Modern Herbal.
Publication
 
Author
Grieve.
Publisher
Penguin
Year
1984
ISBN
0-14-046-440-9
Description
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
]. One part of salep to fifty parts of water is sufficient to make a jelly[
4
Title
A Modern Herbal.
Publication
 
Author
Grieve.
Publisher
Penguin
Year
1984
ISBN
0-14-046-440-9
Description
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
]. The tuber, from which salep is prepared, should be harvested as the plant dies down after flowering and setting seed[
4
Title
A Modern Herbal.
Publication
 
Author
Grieve.
Publisher
Penguin
Year
1984
ISBN
0-14-046-440-9
Description
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
].

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Seed - surface sow, preferably as soon as it is ripe, in the greenhouse and do not allow the compost to dry out. The seed of this species is extremely simple, it has a minute embryo surrounded by a single layer of protective cells. It contains very little food reserves and depends upon a symbiotic relationship with a species of soil-dwelling fungus. The fungal hyphae invade the seed and enter the cells of the embryo. The orchid soon begins to digest the fungal tissue and this acts as a food supply for the plant until it is able to obtain nutrients from decaying material in the soil[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. It is best to use some of the soil that is growing around established plants in order to introduce the fungus, or to sow the seed around a plant of the same species and allow the seedlings to grow on until they are large enough to move.
Division in autumn. Make sure that you keep plenty of soil with each plant. It is also said to be possible to transplant orchids after they have flowered but whilst they are still in leaf.
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2019-10-18. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Platanthera+bifolia>

Add a Comment:

If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.