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