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Downy Rattlesnake Plantain (Downy Rattlesnake Orchid)
Goodyera pubescens

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

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Goodyera pubescens
Goodyera pubescens
Goodyera pubescens

Last updated November 13, 2005. © 2005 Connecticut Botanical Society. All rights reserved.