Small-whorled pogonia (green fiveleaf orchid

A bright orange stem, with five leaves and a flower emerging from the leaf-covered forest floor

Small-whorled pogonia (green fiveleaf orchid

Small-whorled pogonia is a threatened orchid found sporadically in the Eastern United States and Canada. It typically grows under canopies that are relatively open or near features that create long-persisting breaks in the forest canopy such as a road or a stream. It grows in mixed-deciduous or mixed-deciduous/coniferous forests that are generally in second- or third-growth successional stages. The soils in which it lives are usually acidic, moist, and have very few nutrients. The plant has a greenish-white stem that grows between three and thirteen inches tall. It gets its common name from the five or six grayish-green leaves that are displayed in a single whorl around the stem. When the leaves are well developed, a single flower or sometimes a flower pair rises from the center of the circle of leaves. The flowers are yellowish-green with a greenish-white lip.
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Gary Peeples/USFWS
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Public Domain