Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Platanthera x estesii

Platanthera xestesii, Estes hybrid Rein Orchis, as the "x" indicates, is a natural hybrid of Platanthera dilatata, the Bog Candle, and Platanthera stricta, the Slender Bog Orchis.  It very closely resembles Platanthera huronensis, the Green Bog Orchis, and is difficult to distinguish from that species.  It may, in fact, be part of intergrading complex that includes all the above species.  In my experience, having seen plants that have been identified as the natural hybrid, the differences between it and the Green Bog Orchis are (1) a shorter spur (shorter than the lip rather than equal in length to the lip), (2) a thinner spur which is more like that of the Bog Candle, and (3) the shape of the lip, which instead of looking like the head of lance, looks more like that of the Bog Candle.  In any case, these plants do not fit exactly the description of the Green Bog Orchis and I've lumped them under this natural hybrid.

July 7
(Canadian Rockies)

Growing with Platanthera dilatata

July 17
(Canadian Rockies)


  1. A beautiful natural hybrid. The group photograph is awesome! Thanks for the information, Ron

    1. Thanks, Angel. The group photo is quite typical of the abundance of Platantheras in the Canadian Rockies. They are everywhere!