Goodyera pubescens downey rattlesnake-plantain Orchidaceae (unknown location found by Dave Taft 3/2017)

Goodyeara pubescens.Dave Taft.8/3/2016 (Accessed 3/2017)

Goodyera pubescens is a small, low herb 20-40 cm tall in flower. Like all orchids, Goodyera roots are associated with specialized mycorrhizal fungi.

Leaves in a basal rosette,  each with a broad white midrib and each vein lined with white or greenish- white;   broadly elliptic to broadly egg-shaped, 2.1–6.2 cm long, 1.3–3 cm wide, tip pointed to blunt.

Flowers white, bilaterally symmetrical, overall shape rounded, about 0.5 cm long and wide, 3 white sepals 3 white petals but , upper lip hood-shaped, lower petals fused in a sack-like shape, overall however, the flower is distinctly orchid-shaped; inflorescence is a spike, densely flowered, on a stalk 11-35 cm long; blooms July-Sept (see Flora of North America 2017).

Goodyera pubescens.leaf rosette.© Copyright Bobby Hattaway

Goodyera pubescens.leaf rosette.© Copyright Bobby Hattaway (Accessed 3/2017)

Fruit a dry 3-parted capsule, seeds powder-like, wind dispersed. In order to germinate, a seed must join with an appropriate fungus.

Wetland status: FACU

Frequency in NYC: very infrequent.

Habitat: Woodlands with acid soil; mostly on moist humus soils in shady, upland woods. Found throughout the eastern United States and Canada. (Flora of North America 2017)


Goodyera©Stephen (Accessed 3/2017).

Notes: As with all wild orchids, Goodyera should NEVER be collected from the wild since it is very slow to regenerate and will almost never survive transplanting.