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Please, never pick or attempt to transplant 
Orchids (or any other) wild plant. 

Click to purchase plants from legitimate plant nurseries.
Many Orchids are endangered.
Orchid habitat is very specialized.
Orchid pollination is very specialized.
Orchid germination is very specialized.
Admire plants in the wild and let them live.

Also see Corallorhiza maculata and Corallorhiza striata, Calypso bulbosa, Epipactis gigantea, Cypripedium parviflorum, and Green Orchids.

Goodyera oblongifoli

Goodyera oblongifolia

Goodyera oblongifolia

Goodyera oblongifolia (Rattlesnake Plantain Orchid)
Orchidaceae (Orchid Family)

Blooming information withheld to protect the Orchids.

Look for the common Goodyera oblongifolia along trails in dark, dry Spruce/Fir forests.  The stout, shiny leaves with a prominent white mid-rib are far more conspicuous than the tiny white/green flowers.  (Look carefully and you will find several flower stalks in the first photograph at left).  Goodyera oblongifolia spreads from its roots in tight clusters of numerous plants. 

Goodyera is often in the company of Single Delight and One-sided Wintergreen, all very small, delicate, and spectacular in their tiny way.  When you spot one of these three plants, look for the others.

The Goodyera of the East, which is also common in its habitat, has numerous white leaf veins intersecting and producing a crosshatched pattern that is the source of the common name, "Rattlesnake Plantain Orchid".

For more information on Colorado Orchids, click for Scotty Smith's "Orchids of Colorado". Scotty's widely praised article includes photographs, line drawings, and descriptive information.

Goodyera oblongifolia

Goodyera oblongifolia

Goodyera oblongifolia (Rattlesnake Plantain Orchid)
Orchidaceae (Orchid Family)

The Goodyera genus was named by Robert Brown.  Goodyera oblongifolia was named by Constantine Rafinesque in 1833 from a specimen collected by an unidentified collector in Oregon.  "Goodyera" is for noted British 17th century botanist and botanical writer, John Goodyer. (More biographical information about Goodyer.)

Goodyera oblongifolia

Goodyera oblongifoli

Goodyera oblongifolia

Goodyera oblongifolia

Goodyera oblongifolia (Rattlesnake Plantain Orchid)
Orchidaceae (Orchid Family)

Goodyera stems elongate with newest flower buds at the top. Oldest buds at the bottom are the first to open. In the left photograph immediately below, the buds are swelling and the white of the petals just barely shows through the hairy green of the sepals.

At the top of the right photograph below you can see the swollen, light green base of the flower with the 7 mm long, green ovary below it. The pale white clusters in the ovary hold about 500 dust-grain-sized seeds.

Goodyera oblongifolia     Goodyera oblongifolia

Goodyera repens
Goodyera repens (Rattlesnake Plantain Orchid)
Orchidaceae (Orchid Family)

Blooming information withheld to protect the Orchids.

This minute Orchid is rare in a few counties of Colorado, is a bit more common in New Mexico and in one county of Arizona, and is not found in Utah.  As might be the case with other minute plants, its rarity could be attributed to the difficulty in finding it, rather than its actual rarity.

Goodyera repens  Goodyera repens
Goodyera repens (Rattlesnake Plantain Orchid)
Orchidaceae (Orchid Family)
Goodyera repens
Goodyera repens (Rattlesnake Plantain Orchid)
Orchidaceae (Orchid Family)

Leaves of Goodyera repens are half the size of those of Goodyera oblongifolia, and the leaves have very faint but numerous markings in contrast to the single, strong central vein of G. oblongifolia.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Range map for Goodyera oblongifolia

Goodyera repens

Range map for Goodyera repens