Downy Rattlesnake Plantain

By William T. Hathaway

Downy Rattlesnake Plantain (Goodyera pubescens)

The Downy Rattlesnake Plantain (Goodyera pubescens) is one of the most commonly occurring native orchids in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. It can be found in pinelands and hardwood forests.

Before the appearance of the flowering stalk the reticulate white veins of the blue green leaves are conspicuous atop the winter's brownish leaves on the forest floor. Most of the specimens that I have observed were in bloom during early August. In cooler climates, or within air-conditioned homes, the white veined leaves of this little orchid make a colorful addition to a plant terrarium.