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Connecticut Plants
Downy Rattlesnake Plantain (Downy Rattlesnake Orchid)
Goodyera pubescens (Willd.) R. Br. in Ait. & Ait. f.

Rattlesnake-plantains get their name from their broad, rounded leaves, which are similar in shape to those of plantain, a common lawn weed. They are not actually plantains; they are orchids. Downy rattlesnake-plantain is the most common species in New England. It is distinguished from other rattlesnake-plantains by the bright silver markings on the leaves with a broad stripe down the center of the leaves. Compare this to checkered rattlesnake-plantain, which has duller markings and no central stripe.

Rattlesnake-plantains are evergreen. On downy rattlesnake-plantain, individual leaves last four years.

  • Family: orchid (Orchidaceae)
  • Habitat: coniferous woods, often growing on moss
  • Height: 6-18 inches
  • Flower size: 1/4 inch long
  • Flower color: white
  • Flowering time: July to August
  • Origin: native
Goodyera pubescens (Willd.) R. Br. ex Ait. f.
Goodyera pubescens (Willd.) R. Br. ex Ait. f.
Goodyera pubescens (Willd.) R. Br. ex Ait. f.