Lesser Rattlesnake Plantain

By William T. Hathaway

Lesser Rattlesnake Plantain (Goodyera repens var. ophioides)

For years I had run across the Lesser Rattlesnake Plantain (orchid) in various botany books. This little species was a mystery to me until I ran across it growing on a mossy patch within a cool mountain woodland site in Giles County, Virginia, near Mountain Lake.

Since this is a high mountain species, it's no wonder that the Virginia piedmont lacks this orchid population. (Compare with the Downy Rattlesnake Plantain.)

My color slide is dated July, 1973.