Orchis dilatata Pursh
Habenaria dilatata (Pursh) Hook.
Platanthera hyperborea dilatata (Pursh) Rchb.f.
Limnorchis dilatata (Pursh) Rydb.
Piperia dilatata (Pursh) Szlach. & Rutk.
Habenaria borealis albiflora Cham.
Platanthera graminea Lindl.
Platanthera lindleyi Steud.
Platanthera hyperborea graminea Rchb.f.
Platanthera cylindrica Bach.Pyl.
Tulotis albiflora Raf.
Orchis agastachys Fisch. ex Lindl.
Limnorchis foliosa Rydb.
Limnorchis fragrans Rydb.
Limnorchis leptoceratitis Rydb.
Platanthera leucostachys Lindl.
Habenaria leucostachys (Lindl.) S.Watson
Limnorchis leucostachys (Lindl.) Rydb.
Platanthera hyperborea leucostachys (Lindl.) Kraenzl.
Habenaria pedicellata S.Watson
Habenaria flagellans S.Watson
Limnorchis graminifolia Rydb.
Habenaria graminifolia (Rydb.) J.K.Henry
Habenaria leptoceratitis J.K.Henry
Common Name: White Bog-Orchid
Platanthera dilatata is a herbaceous, perennial orchid growing from a fleshy rootstock with stems that can be 11 - 130cm or more tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine.
The leaves are considered to be poisonous by some Native American tribes[
Western and eastern N. America - Alaska to California, Colorado and New Mexico; Manitoba to Newfoundland, south to Missouri and New York.
Wet soils of swamps, bogs, banks of springs and streams[
]. Wet meadows, tundra, marshes, fens, stream banks, shores, ditches, seeping slopes, roadsides; at elevations from sea level to 3,100 metres[
The N. American members of this genus are generally best grown in a sand-peat bed (60% silica sand, 40% sphagnum peat with a mulch of pine needles)) or in pots of pure, living sphagnum moss[
Orchids are, in general, shallow-rooting plants of well-drained low-fertility soils. Even those species that grow in bogs tend to be in the drier areas of the bog with plenty of water 15cm or more below soil level. 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[
Root - cooked[
]. They taste like frozen potatoes[
The root juice has been mixed with water and drunk in the treatment of gravel[
The following notes are for Platanthere leucostachys, now generally considered to be a subspecies of Platanthera dilatata (as Platanthere dilatata leucostachys (Lindl.) Luer)
A decoction of the plant is used as a wash to treat rheumatic pain[
The plant is used in a sweat bath to treat rheumatic pains and various other joint and muscle aches[
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[
]. 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. The plant is very intolerant of root disturbance, any moving or dividing should be attempted in the autumn, keep a large ball of soil around the plant[