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Downy Rattlesnake Plantain

Goodyera pubescens


An evergreen orchid with horizontal rhizomes that grow low to the ground. The roots have a mycorrhizal relationship with fungi, which helps the plant acquire moisture and ­nutrients, while the plant provides the products of its photosynthesis to the fungus. The green, variegated leaves are quite striking and resemble the skin of a snake, hence the common name. Leaves are present year-round and grow as a basal rosette. The inflorescence stems are densely downy. The flower stalks produce numerous small, white flowers in a terminal spike. The entire plant was approximately 2 feet tall.


Growing at the base of a tree, high on a ridge, in a mixed forest.


Native Americans used it medicinally to treat snakebites, burns, and several other ailments.

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Christine Y.
Spotted by
Christine Y.

Connecticut, USA

Spotted on Jul 30, 2017
Submitted on Dec 21, 2017

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