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Rattlesnake Plantain Back to Plant Page
Goodyera oblongifolia

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About Rattlesnake Plantain (Goodyera oblongifolia) Goodyera oblongifolia is a species of orchid known by the common names western rattlesnake plantain and giant rattlesnake plantain. It is native to much of North America, particularly the western side of the continent from Alaska to Mexico, and to eastern Canada. It is most commonly found in mountain forests, often in the understory of conifers. This orchid forms a patch of broad lance-shaped to oval-shaped leaves at the ground, each 4 to 9 centimeters long. The leaf is dark green and in this species the midrib is streaked with white. The netlike veining on the leaf is also white, but not as thick as the midrib stripes. The plant produces an erect flower cluster up to about 30 centimeters tall. The top of the flower cluster has many white orchid flowers which may all face the same direction on the stalk, or be spirally arranged about it.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Max. Height
0.6 - 1.1 ft (0.18 - 0.34 m)

Flower Color

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Dry places in decomposing leaf litter

Shade, Part Shade

Elevation ?
-75' - 14090'

Annual Precip. ?
22.4" - 158.4"

Summer Precip. ?
0.59" - 5.80"

Coldest Month ?
10.8° F - 49.1° F

Hottest Month ?
34.1° F - 74.0° F

Humidity ?
0.01 vpd - 24.62 vpd

Sunset Zones ?
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 14, 15, 16, 17*

Landscaping Information
Nursery Availability
Never or Almost Never Available

Other Names
Common Names
Western Rattlesnake Plantain, Giant Rattlesnake Plantain

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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