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Connecticut Plants
Checkered Rattlesnake Plantain
Goodyera tesselata Lodd.

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. Checkered rattlesnake-plantain has leaves with soft green markings. It can be distinguished from Connecticut's other two species, downy rattlesnake-plantain (the most common species) and dwarf rattlesnake-plantain (Goodyera repens), both of which have bright silver markings on their leaves. However, checkered rattlesnake-plantain and dwarf rattlesnake-plantain can hybridize to plants with intermediate markings, so identification is sometimes difficult.

  • Family: orchid (Orchidaceae)
  • Habitat: rich woods
  • Height: 6-16 inches
  • Flower size: 1/4 inch long
  • Flower color: white
  • Flowering time: July to August
  • Origin: native
Goodyera tesselata Lodd.
Goodyera tesselata Lodd.
Goodyera tesselata Lodd.

Photographed in Minnesota in mid-July.

Goodyera tesselata Lodd.
Goodyera tesselata Lodd.

For comparison, here is dwarf rattlesnake plantain. Note that the markings are bright silver, in contrast to the more subtle coloration of checkered rattlesnake plantain.