Piperia elegans

Piperia elegans (Lindl.) Rydb., syn. Platanthera elegans Lindl., is known as the Elegant rein orchid. It grows in coastal areas and a little bit inland, from California to British Columbia, Canada, flowering more prolifically in the coastal sites. Lateral petals are white to pale green with a green midvein or base and a white to pale green lip. Flowers have musky fragrance. It grows to around three feet tall. The Jepson Manual lists two subspecies.

Piperia elegans (Lindl.) Rydb. ssp. decurtata Rand. Morgan & Glicenstein differs from the other subspecies by its shorter stature, shorter spur, and spicy fragrance. It has only been found on windswept coastal bluffs, Point Reyes, Marin County, California.

Piperia elegans ssp. elegans is generally found in dry, open sites, scrub, conifer forest below 500 m. It flowers May through September. Photos taken by Bob Rutemoeller on the Mendocino Sonoma Coast different years in July and September.

Piperia elegans ssp. elegans, Bob RutemoellerPiperia elegans ssp. elegans, Bob RutemoellerPiperia elegans ssp. elegans, Bob Rutemoeller

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