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Western rattlesnake plantain (Goodyera oblongifolia)

Western rattlesnake plantain (Goodyera oblongifolia) is a widespread orchid species whose ornate foliage can be enjoyed year-round in old-growth conifer forests. Its small, but elegant wildflowers grow on a tall stem and bloom late in the year (July through October). The common name is a reference to the plant's unusual leaf vein pattern, which supposedly resembles the skin of a rattlesnake. Also, the shape of the leaves is somewhat reminiscent of some species of plantain (genus Plantago), but the plants are not closely related.

Western rattlesnake plantain (Goodyera oblongifolia).  Kruse Rhododendron State Natural Reserve, Sonoma County, California, USA. Stock Photo ID=PLA0527
Western rattlesnake plantain (Goodyera oblongifolia), close-up of wildflowers in bloom. Kruse Rhododendron State Natural Reserve, Sonoma County, California, USA.
PLA0527

Western rattlesnake plantain (Goodyera oblongifolia), highly detailed close-up of orchid flowers in bloom.  Kruse Rhododendron State Natural Reserve, Sonoma County, California, USA. Stock Photo ID=PLA0528
Western rattlesnake plantain (Goodyera oblongifolia), high magnification (approx. 2x lifesize) close-up of orchid flowers blooming. Kruse Rhododendron State Natural Reserve, Sonoma County, California, USA.
PLA0528

Western rattlesnake plantain (Goodyera oblongifolia).  Kruse Rhododendron State Natural Reserve, Sonoma County, California, USA. Stock Photo ID=PLA0529
Western rattlesnake plantain (Goodyera oblongifolia), raceme of wildflowers. Kruse Rhododendron State Natural Reserve, Sonoma County, California, USA.
PLA0529

Western rattlesnake plantain (Goodyera oblongifolia) foliage.  Kruse Rhododendron State Natural Reserve, Sonoma County, California, USA. Stock Photo ID=PLA0526
Western rattlesnake plantain (Goodyera oblongifolia) foliage. Kruse Rhododendron State Natural Reserve, Sonoma County, California, USA.
PLA0526

Western rattlesnake plantain (Goodyera oblongifolia) foliage.  Kruse Rhododendron State Natural Reserve, Sonoma County, California, USA. Stock Photo ID=PLA0530
Western rattlesnake plantain (Goodyera oblongifolia), documentary view of multiple plants in relation to their environment. Kruse Rhododendron State Natural Reserve, Sonoma County, California, USA.
PLA0530

Next Plant: Meadow lupine (Lupinus polyphyllus var. burkei)



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All images copyright Timothy Boomer. All rights reserved worldwide.