There are forty species of orchids which grow in the wild in Rhode Island.  All are natives except for Epipactis helleborine. At least eight of these native orchids have not been seen in recent years: Galearis spectabilis, Isotria medeoloides, Liparis liliifolia, Listera cordata, Malaxis bayardii,  Platanthera hookeri, Platanthera macrophylla, and Platanthera orbiculata.Some orchids such as Green Adder’s-mouth are small, inconspicuous and easily overlooked.  Others, such as Pink and Yellow Lady’s-slippers are showy and more easily noticed.

Orchid habitat varies with species. Some species such as Malaxis usually grow in bogs or swamps while Spiranthes vernalis is found in dry fields. Platanthera lacera can be found in swamps and also in dry fields.

RI orchids bloom from early May into October and sometimes into November.  The earliest species to bloom in RI is Corallorhiza trifida and the last is C. odontorhiza.

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The information on Rhode Island Orchids come from several sources. The blooming dates are based on a list developed by Gil George. They include information on Massachusetts blooming times and data given to Gil by Richard Champlin. Champlin also had information from John Hudson, an earlier wild plant person. The county and status information is from Rick Enser's Rare Plants of RI and, for orchids not on the Rare Plant List, the status is taken from Gil George's Rhode Island Botanical Survey Check List, published in 1999. Francis Underwood provided habitat information and made sure the nomenclature was up-to-date. For a key to the status codes, click here.

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Rhode Island Orchids
   
Arethusa
Botanical Name: Arethusa bulbosa L.
Common Name: Arethusa, Swamp-pink, Dragon's Mouth
Habitat:
sphagnum bogs
State Status:
SE
Federal Status:
Counties found in:
Providence, Kent, Washington
Number of RI sites:
4
Blooming Dates
RI:
5/28
MA:
(5/16) 5/24 - 7/1
Seymour’s:
5/28 - 7/14
Hudson/Champlin’s:
5/22 - 6/7

Photo credit: Anne B. Wagner

Grass-pink
Botanical Name: Calopogon tuberosus (L.) BSP
Common Name:
Grass-pink, Swamp-pink
Habitat:
wet fields and bogs
State Status:
SC
Federal Status:
Counties found in:
Providence; Kent; Washington
Number of RI sites:
9
Blooming Dates
RI:
MA:
6/17 - 8/11
Seymour’s:
6/25 - 7/27
Hudson/Champlin’s:
6/18 - 8/4


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Photo credit: Francis Underwood

Spotted Coral-root
Botanical Name:
Corallorhiza maculata Raf.
Common Name:
Spotted Coral-root
Habitat:
mixed harwoods and pine
State Status:
SC
Federal Status:
Counties found in:
Providence; Kent
Number of RI sites:
7
Blooming Dates
RI:
7/27, 8/23
MA:
6/18 - 26, 7/4 - 9/8, 9/22 - 10/4
Seymour’s:
7/5 -  8/16
Hudson/Champlin’s:
7/7 - 8/28


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Photo credit: kbarton

Autumn Coral-root

Botanical Name: Corallorhiza odontorhiza
Common Name:
Late or Autumn Coral-root
Habitat:
rich woods
State Status:
ST
Federal Status:
Counties found in:
Providence
Number of RI sites:
1
Blooming Dates
RI:
MA:
8/17- 10/13 (10/21)
Seymour’s:
9/4 - 29
Hudson/Champlin’s:
9/1 - 15


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Photo credit: kbarton

Spring Coral-root
Botanical Name: Corallorhiza trifida Chatelain
Common Name:
Early, Pale, or
Northern Coral-root
Habitat:
swamps and wet woods
State Status:
SC
Federal Status:
Counties found in:
Providence; Kent
Number of RI sites:
4
Blooming Dates
RI:
MA:
5/8 - 6/10
Seymour’s:
5/26 - 7/14
Hudson/Champlin’s:
5/11 - 5/27

credit: Francis Underwood

Pink Ladyslipper
Botanical Name: Cypripedium acaule Ait.
Common Name:
Pink Ladyslipper
Habitat:
acidic woods, often of oak and pine
State Status:
Common
Federal Status:
Counties found in:
All counties
Number of RI sites:
Blooming Dates
RI:
5/15 - 6/20
MA:
5/13 - 6/23 (7/11)
Seymour’s:
5/15 - 30
Hudson/Champlin’s:
5/21 - 6/13

Photo Credit: Anne B. Wagner

Small Yellow Lady's-slipper
Botanical Name: Cypripedium parviflorum var. parviflorum
Common Name:
Small Yellow Lady's-slipper, Moccasin-flower, or Golden Slipper
Habitat:
rich woods
State Status:
SH
Federal Status:
Counties found in:
 
Number of RI sites:
Blooming Dates
RI:
5/10 - 6/1
MA:
5/21 - 6/12
Seymour’s:
5/11 - 6/18
Hudson/Champlin’s:
5/14 - 6/11

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Photo credit: Anne B. Wagner

Large Yellow Ladyslipper
Botanical Name: Cypripedium parviflorum var. pubescens
Common Name:
Large Yellow Lady's-slipper, Moccasin-flower, or Golden Slipper, Whip-poor-will Shoes
Habitat:
moist forests
State Status:
SE
Federal Status:
Counties found in:
Providence
Number of RI sites:
3
Blooming Dates
RI:
5/10 - 6/1
MA:
5/9 - 6/14
Seymour’s:
5/11 - 6/18
Hudson/Champlin’s:
5/14 - 6/11


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Photo credit: Norm Boyer

Long-bracted Green Orchis
Botanical Name:
Dactylorhiza viridis viridis
Common Name:
Bracted or Long-bracted Green Orchis, Frog-orchis
Habitat:
rich woods
State Status:
ST
Federal Status:
Counties found in:
Providence
Number of RI sites:
2
Blooming Dates
RI:
MA:
5/9 - 6/29
Seymour’s:
5/19 - 30
Hudson/Champlin’s:
5/13 - 6/7


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Photo credit: Anne B. Wagner

Helleborine Orchid
Botanical Name: Epipactis helleborine (L.) Crantz (European origin)
Common Name:
Helleborine Orchid
Habitat:
weedy orchid of diverse habitats
State Status:
Occasional
Federal Status:
Counties found in:
All counties
Number of RI sites:
Blooming Dates
RI:
7/18 -
MA:
7/11 - 8/20
Seymour’s:
7/14 - 8/?
Hudson/Champlin’s:
8/1


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Photo credit: Gil George

Showy Orchis
Botanical Name:
Galearis spectabilis (L.) Raf.
Common Name:
Showy Orchis
Habitat:
rich woods
State Status:
SH
Federal Status:
Counties found in:
Providence
Number of RI sites:
1
Blooming Dates
RI:
5/18 - 24
MA:
5/9 - 6/18
Seymour’s:
5/15- 5/30
Hudson/Champlin’s:
5/8 - 6/1


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Photo credit: Anne B. Wagner

Downy Rattlesnake Plantain


Close up Goodyear pubeescens flowers

Botanical Name:
Goodyera pubescens (Willd.) R. Br.
Common Name:
Downy Rattlesnake Plantain
Habitat:
mixed woods
State Status:
Common
Federal Status:
Counties found in:
Kent, Newport, Providence, Washington
Number of RI sites:
Blooming Dates
RI:
7/29 - 8/11
MA:
7/19 - 9/10 (10/1)
Seymour’s:
7/25 - 8/27?
Hudson/Champlin’s:
8/1 - 8/20

.
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Upper Photo credit: Anne B. Wagner
Lower Photo: Norm Boyer

Checkered Rattlesnake Plantain
Botanical Name:
Goodyera tesselata Loddiges
Common Name:
Checkered Rattlesnake Plantain
Habitat:
mixed woods
State Status:
SC
Federal Status:
Counties found in:
Kent, Providence, Washington
Number of RI sites:
Blooming Dates
RI:
7/25-8/27
MA:
Seymour’s:
7/25-8/27
Hudson/Champlin’s:


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credit: Norm Boyer

Small Whorled Pogonia
Botanical Name:
Isotria medeoloides (Pursh.) Raf
Common Name:
Small Whorled Pogonia, Little Five-leaves
Habitat:
hardwood forests
State Status:
SE
Federal Status:
SH
Counties found in:
Providence
Number of RI sites:
1
Blooming Dates
RI:
MA:
5/28 -(no date available)
Seymour’s:
6/11 - 7/6?
Hudson/Champlin’s:
5/28 - 6/16


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Photo credit: Anne B. Wagner

Large Whorled Pogonia

Large Whorled Pogonia Plant

Botanical Name:
Isotria verticillata (Willd.) Raf.
Common Name:
Large Whorled Pogonia
Habitat:
dry acidic woods
State Status:
SC
Federal Status:
Counties found in:
Kent, Providence, Washington
Number of RI sites:
Blooming Dates
RI:
5/15 - 30
MA:
5/16 - 6/18
Seymour’s:
5/20 - 6/14
Hudson/Champlin’s:
5/15 - 6/5


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Photo credits: Norm Boyer

Lily-leaved Twayblade
Botanical Name:
Liparis lilifolia (L.) Rich. Ex. Lindl
Common Name:
Lily-leaved or Large Twayblade
Habitat:
rich mesic woods
State Status:
SH
Federal Status:
Counties found in:
Providence
Number of RI sites:
1
Blooming Dates
RI:
6/5/2022
MA:
5/25 - 6/30, 7/8
Seymour’s:
6/8 - 7/6
Hudson/Champlin’s:
5/29 - 7/8


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Photo credit: Gil George

 

Bog Twayblade
Botanical Name:
Liparis loeselii (L.) Richard
Common Name:
Yellow, Bog-, or Loesel's Twayblade, Fen-orchid
Habitat:
wet fields, swamps
State Status:
SE
Federal Status:
Counties found in:
Providence; Kent
Number of RI sites:
2
Blooming Dates
RI:
MA:
6/10 - 7/15
Seymour’s:
6/10 - 7/10
Hudson/Champlin’s:
6/20 - 7/19


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Photo credit: Francis Underwood

Heart-leaved Twayblade
Botanical Name:
Listera cordata (L.) R. Br.
Common Name:
Heart-leaved or Heartleaf Twayblade
Habitat:
fens and swamps
State Status:
SH
Federal Status:
Counties found in:
Washington
Number of RI sites:
0 (1897)
Blooming Dates
RI:
MA:
5/14- 6/11
Seymour’s:
6/9- 8/11?
Hudson/Champlin’s:


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Photo credit: Anne B. Wagner

Baryard's Malaxis
Botanical Name:
Malaxis bayardii
Common Name:
Bayard's Malaxis
Habitat:
dry woods and pine barrens
State Status:
SH
Federal Status:
Counties found in:
Washington
Number of RI sites:
0 (1909)
Blooming Dates
RI:
MA:
Seymour’s:
Hudson/Champlin’s:


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Photo credit: Francis Underwood

Green Adder's Mouth
Botanical Name:
Malaxis unifolia Michx.
Common Name:
Green Adder's Mouth
Habitat:
swamps and bogs
State Status:
SE
Federal Status:
Counties found in:
Washington
Number of RI sites:
1
Blooming Dates
RI:
7/27 - 28 - (3A)
MA:
7/2 - 8/24 (9/4)
Seymour’s:
7/23 - 8/9
Hudson/Champlin’s:
7/11 - 8/21


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Photo credit: Francis Underwood

Northern Green Orchid
Botanical Name:
Platanthera aquilonis Sheviak
Common Name:
Northern Green Orchid
Habitat:
Moist, rich woods
State Status:
SC
Federal Status:
Counties found in:
Providence
Number of RI sites:
2
Blooming Dates
RI: 7/8-7/14
MA:  
Seymour’s:  
Hudson/Champlin’s:  


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Photo credit: Francis Underwood

White-fringed Orchid
Botanical Name:
Platanthera blephariglottis (Wildl.) Lindl.
Common Name:
White-fringed Orchid
Habitat:
damp fields and bogs
State Status:
ST
Federal Status:
Counties found in:
Bristol; Kent; Washington
Number of RI sites:
4
Blooming Dates
RI:
MA:
7/14 - 8/28 (9/3)
Seymour’s:
7/1 - 8/23
Hudson/Champlin’s:
7/26 - 8/7


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Photo credit: Francis Underwood

Oreange-fringed Orchis
Botanical Name:
Platanthera ciliaris (L.) Lindl.
Common Name:
Yellow Fringed Orchid or Orchis, Orange-plume
Habitat:
damp fields
State Status:
SE
Federal Status:
Counties found in:
Washington
Number of RI sites:
2
Blooming Dates
RI:
8/20 - (B)
MA:
7/28 - 8/21
Seymour’s:
7/? - 8/?
Hudson/Champlin’s:
7/27 - 8/17


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Photo credit: Francis Underwood

Small Green Woodland Orchid
Botanical Name:
Platanthera clavellata (Michx.) Leur
Common Name:
Small Green Woodland Orchid
Habitat:
wet, usually acidic woods
State Status:
SC
Federal Status:
Counties found in:
Kent, Newport, Providence, Washington
Number of RI sites:  
Blooming Dates
RI:
7/11 - 8/5
MA:
7/15 -  8/26
Seymour’s:
7/15 - 8/7
Hudson/Champlin’s:
7/24 -  8/10


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Photo credit: Anne B. Wagner

Tubercled or Pale Green Orchis
Botanical Name:
Platanthera flava(L.) var. herbiola (R. Br.) Luer
Common Name:
Tubercled or Pale Green Orchis/orchid
Habitat:
wet open areas and  swamps
State Status:
ST
Federal Status:
Counties found in:
Newport; Kent; Washington
Number of RI sites:
3
Blooming Dates
RI:
6/18 - 22 (7/13)
MA:
Seymour’s:
6/27 - 7/1
Hudson/Champlin’s:
6/30 - 7/13


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Photo credit: kbarton

Large Purple-fringed Orchid
Botanical Name:
Platanthera grandiflora (Bigel.) Lindl.
Common Name:
Large Purple-fringed Orchid
Habitat:
moist woods and edges of streams
State Status:
SC
Federal Status:
Counties found in:
Kent, Newport, Providence, Washington
Number of RI sites:
Blooming Dates
RI:
6/9-28
MA:
(6/4) 6/10 - 8/12
Seymour’s:
6/15 - 7/1
Hudson/Champlin’s:
6/7 - 7/12

Photo credit: Anne B. Wagner

Hooker's Orchid
Botanical Name:
Platanthera hookeri (Torr.) Lindl.
Common Name:
Hooker's Orchid or Orchis
Habitat:
rich woods and coniferous forests
State Status:
SH
Federal Status:
Counties found in:
Providence
Number of RI sites:
0 (1983)
Blooming Dates
RI:
MA:
5/25 - 7/9
Seymour’s:
5/17 - 6/?
Hudson/Champlin’s:
5/31 - 6/20


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Photo credit: Anne B. Wagner

 
Botanical Name:
Platanthera huronensis
Common Name:
Leafy Northern Green Orchis, Tall Northern Bog-orchid
Habitat:
swamps and bogs
State Status:
ST
Federal Status:
Counties found in:
Providence
Number of RI sites:
2
Blooming Dates
RI:
MA:
5/31 - 8/28
Seymour’s:
6/25 - 7/1
Hudson/Champlin’s:
7/2 - 9/5


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No Photo available

Ragged-fringed Orchid
Botanical Name:
Platanthera lacera var. lacera
Common Name:
Ragged Fringed Orchid
Habitat:
swamps and also dry fields
State Status:
SC
Federal Status:
Counties found in:
Washington; Block Island
Number of RI sites:
3
Blooming Dates
RI:
7/11/2028
MA:
(7/5) 7/13 - 9/10
Seymour’s:
7/15 - 8/28
Hudson/Champlin’s:
7/5 - 8/10


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Photo credit: Anne B. Wagner

 
Botanical Name:
Platanthera macrophylla
Common Name:
Large Round-leaved Orchid or Orchis
Habitat:
rich mesic to wet woods
State Status:
SH
Federal Status:
Counties found in:
Providence
Number of RI sites:
0 (1973)
Blooming Dates
RI:
MA:
6/19 - 8/6
Seymour’s:
7/2 - 8/?
Hudson/Champlin’s:


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No Photo available

Round-leaved Orchid
Botanical Name:
Platanthera orbiculata (Pursh.) Lindl.
Common Name:
Round-leaved Orchid
Habitat:
rich mesic to wet woods
State Status:
SH
Federal Status:
Counties found in:
Providence
Number of RI sites:
1 (1971)
Blooming Dates
RI:
MA:
6/22 - 8/18
Seymour’s:
6/29 - 7/?
Hudson/Champlin’s:
6/30 - 8/5

Photo credit: Anne B. Wagner

Small Purple -fringed Orchid
Botanical Name:
Platanthera psycodes (L.) Lindl.
Common Name:
Small Purple -fringed Orchid
Habitat:
swamps, edges of streams and rarely open wet areas as powerlines
State Status:
SC
Federal Status:
Counties found in:
Providence; Kent; Washington
Number of RI sites:
9
Blooming Dates
RI:
7/17 - 8/15
MA:
7/14 - 8/26 (9/4)
Seymour’s:
7/12 - 8/14
Hudson/Champlin’s:
7/23 - 8/16


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Photo credit: kbarton

Rose Pogonia
Botanical Name:
Pogonia ophioglossoides (L.) Juss.
Common Name:
Rose Pogonia
Habitat:
wet fields, bogs and swamps
State Status:
Very Rare
Federal Status:
Counties found in:
Kent, Providence, Washington
Number of RI sites:
Blooming Dates
RI:
6/18 -26
MA:
6/4 - 7/27 (9/16-27)
Seymour’s:
6/13 - 7/1?
Hudson/Champlin’s:
6/7 - 7/29

Photo credit: Anne B. Wagner

Nodding Ladies'-tresses
Botanical Name:
Spiranthes cernua (L.) Richard
Common Name:
Nodding Ladies'-tresses
Habitat:
damp or dry open areas
State Status:
Common
Federal Status:
Counties found in:
Kent, Newport, Providence, Washington
Number of RI sites:
Blooming Dates
RI:
8/26 - 9/23
MA:
(8/8) 8/16 - 10/21
Seymour’s:
8/24 - 9/23
Hudson/Champlin’s:
9/1 - 9/20


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Photo credit: kbarton

Northern Slender Ladies'-tresses
Botanical Name:
Spiranthes lacera (Raf.) Raf. var. lacera
Common Name:
Northern Slender Ladies'-tresses
Habitat:
dry or moist fields
State Status:
Rare
Federal Status:
Counties found in:
Providence
Number of RI sites:
Blooming Dates
RI:
MA:
(7/5) 7/13 - 9/10
Seymour’s:
7/5 - 8/?
Hudson/Champlin’s:


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Photo credit: Francis Underwood

Southern Slender Ladies'-tresses

Close up of Spiranthes lacera var. gracilis

Botanical Name:
Spiranthes lacera (Raf.) Raf.var. gracilis (Bigel.) Luer
Common Name:
Southern Slender Ladies'-tresses
Habitat:
dry or moist fields
State Status:
Rare
Federal Status:
Counties found in:
Newport, Providence, Washington
Number of RI sites:
Blooming Dates
RI:
MA:
8/12- 9/26
Seymour’s:
Hudson/Champlin’s:
7/22 - 9/2


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Upper Photo: Anne B. Wagner; Lower Photo: Francis underwood

 
Botanical Name:
Spiranthes lucida (H.H. Eat.) Ames
Common Name:
Shining or Wide-leaved Ladies'-tresses
Habitat:
wet fields
State Status:
SH
Federal Status:
Counties found in:
Providence
Number of RI sites:
0 (1960)
Blooming Dates
RI:
MA:
(5/29-30) 6/10 - 7/17
Seymour’s:
6/6- 7/19?
Hudson/Champlin’s:
6/15


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No Photo available

Close-up Spiranthes ochroleuca
Flower head of Spiranthes ochroleuca

 


Botanical Name:
Spiranthes ochroleuca (Rydb.) Rydb.
Common Name:
Yellow Nodding Ladies-tresses
Habitat:
dry woods and wet meadows
State Status:
SC
Federal Status:
Counties found in:
Providence
Number of RI sites:
1
Blooming Dates
RI:
10/23 (first found by D.McGrady)
MA:
(no date available) 9/3 - 10/7
Seymour’s:
Hudson/Champlin’s:


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Photo credit: Doug McGrady

 
Botanical Name:
Spiranthes tuberosa Raf.
Common Name:
Little Ladies'-tresses
Habitat:
dry fields and cemeteries
State Status:
SE
Federal Status:
Counties found in:
Washington
Number of RI sites:
2
Blooming Dates
RI:
MA:
8/13 - 9/15
Seymour’s:
8/14 - 9/13
Hudson/Champlin’s:
8/19 - 9/13


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No Photo available

Spring Ladies'-tresses
Botanical Name:
Spiranthes vernalis Engelm. & Gray
Common Name:
Spring Ladies'-tresses
Habitat:
dry fields and cemeteries
State Status:
SC
Federal Status:
Counties found in:
Newport, Washington
Number of RI sites:
3
Blooming Dates
RI:
7/22 - 8/23
MA:
7/28 - 9/7 (9/22)
Seymour’s:
8/1 - 9/?
Hudson/Champlin’s:
8/8 - 9/2


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Photo credit: kbarton

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