Platanthera aquilonis
 
Green-Flowered Bog-Orchid

Flower Front Close-Up (early)

Center Block, Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park
12-July-2011

The flower has a single anther but the anther is split into two clearly separated "half-anthers".  Each half anther has two pollinia (pollen clumps).  Note each pair of pollinia is still enclosed in an anther sac in this photo.  As the flower matures the pollinium pairs will detach themselves from their anther sacs and fall loosely onto the stigma.  This does not happen in P. hyperborea (see below).

In the past, this species has been included in Platanthera hyperborea.  However, P. hyperborea is a tetraploid species native to Iceland and Greenland whereas this is a diploid species native to North America.  Both Budd's Flora and Flora of Alberta identify this plant as Habenaria hyperborea, and that is the nomenclature used in the key descriptions below.

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Hyperborea: Answers to key questions in Budd's Flora and Flora of Alberta leading to this species. 
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leaves cauline; NOT [leaves basal, stem naked above or with a few bracts only]

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leaves spread along the stem; NOT [leaves clustered near the base of stem]

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leaves NOT withering at flowering time

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inflorescence congested; NOT [inflorescence open]

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flowers greenish; NOT [flowers white]

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sepals 3-nerved; NOT [sepals 1-nerved]

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lip entire; NOT [lip 2-3 toothed]

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lip gradually widened toward base; NOT [lip abruptly widened at base]

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spur cylindrical; NOT [spur pouch-like]

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spur 5-8 mm long; NOT [spur 4-5 mm long], NOT [spur 2-3 mm long]

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spur as long as the lip; NOT [spur shorter than the lip]

 

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Habenaria: Answers to key questions in Budd's Flora and Flora of Alberta leading to this genus. 
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plants NOT saprophytic

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plants WITH chlorophyll

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leaves normal with well-developed blades; NOT [plants with reduced, scale-like non-green leaves]

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leaves several; NOT [leaf solitary and basal], NOT [leaves 2]

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flowers 2-many, in racemes or spikes; NOT [flower solitary]

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flowers mostly smaller; NOT [flowers large, to 8 cm long]

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petals and lip uniformly white, yellowish or greenish; NOT [petals and lip usually spotted with pink or purple]

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lip concave or flat, not mocassin-shaped; NOT [lip inflated and mocassin-shaped]

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spur of flower present and conspicuous; NOT [spur of flower lacking]

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fertile anther 1; NOT [fertile anthers 2]