Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Coeloglossum viride var. virescens

Coeloglossum viride var. virescens is supposed to be native to Washington but no one seems to know where it can be found.  It is, however, very common in the Canadian Rockies and it is there we see it when we are in British Columbia or Alberta.  It grows to 60 cm tall and the flowers are 2-3 cm in size.  At first glance it looks like one of the green Platantheras but the long, tongue-like lip is distinctive.  It is know both as the Long-bracted Green Orchis and as the Frog Orchid.  There is a smaller variety of the species with fewer flowers and shorter bracts that is found only much further north from Alaska to Newfoundland.

 July 8
(Canadian Rockies)

July 12
(Canadian Rockies)


  1. We have that species in my state. Even close to my hometown we had a few of those, but I have not seen single a plant there for three years now. It grows in abundance in the alps.

    I have seen sizes from 5cm to 30cm in Germany. Some with more green flowers, some with more red ones. It seems to hybridize with Dactylorhiza, which is closely related. There are reports of hybrids with D. majalis in southern Germany. I have not seen them however.

    1. Out experience is exactly the same as yours, Martin. It is reported from Washington but very rare and we have not seen it in the state. It is abundant, however, in the Canadian Rockies and we find there the same variation that you mention both in the height of the plant and in the color of the flowers.