Downy Rattlesnake Plantain Orchid in PA

The Downy Rattlesnake Plantain started opening its blooms this week. Each of these orchids has a few dozen quarter-inch long blooms at the top of a fuzzy stem with about a third of the blooms open.

Downy rattlesnake plantain.

You can see why this orchid is called ‘downy’ as all parts of it seem to be fuzzy with soft, downy hairs.

Downy orchid.

Here’s a similar photo taken without a flash. Details of the open flowers are more visible.

Downy rattlesnake plantain blooming.

Three sepals are the same white color as the petals, except for a tinge of green at the sepals’ edge. The two upper petals are merged into a hood. The lower petal is enlarged into the typical cupped lip of an orchid.

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