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Lesser Butterfly Orchid

Platanthera bifolia

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
For more information please download the BSBI Code of Conduct PDF document.

Plant Data

Flowering Months:
JAN  FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  JUN  JUL  AUG  SEP  OCT  NOV  DEC
Order:
Asparagales
Family:
Orchidaceae (Orchid)
Type:
Flower
Life Cycle:
Perennial
Maximum Size:
55 centimetres tall
Habitats:
Bogs, grassland, heathland, moorland, wetland, woodland.

Flower:
֍
White, 5 petals
 
This plant has flowers which appear in a single spike. The flowers are slightly tinged green and are almost 2cm across. Butterfly Orchids are so named because of the shape of their flowers. The flowers are said to resemble butterflies. The spur on the flower is less curved than that of the almost identical flower, Greater Butterfly Orchid.
Fruit:
A veined capsule filled with many minute dust-like seeds.
Leaves:
Two opposite broad basal leaves with parallel veins.
Aroma:
Just like the Greater Butterfly Orchid, the Lesser Butterfly Orchid is vanilla-scented but the smell of this flower is stronger than that of Greater Butterfly Orchid. The scent appears at night time attracting moths such as the Elephant Hawk Moth.
Frequency (UK):
Unusual  
Similar Species:
Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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