Platanthera lacera is a perennial monocotyledon herb, 40-80 cm tall, stem leafy.
Leaves alternate, 5-15 cm long, 3-5 cm wide, lance-shaped to narrowly oval, tip pointed to blunt, upper leaves much smaller, almost linear.
Flowers greenish-white to yellow-green, bilaterally symmetrical, two lateral petals and uppermost sepal about 0.5-0.7 cm long, together forming a hood at top of flower, petal lip to 1-1.5 cm long, deeply 3-lobed, central lobe longer than wide, margins conspicuously fringed, ragged looking; back of lip extending into a narrow spur 1.5- 2 cm long; inflorescence a spike at top of stem.
Fruit dry, a capsule with numerous, minute seeds, wind dispersed;) requiring symbiosis with a fungus to grow, like all Orchids.
Wetland status: FACW.
Frequency in NYC: Very infrequent, if still extant.
Habitat: Open wet meadows, edges.