Family:     Orchidaceae (orchid family)

Duration:  Perennial

Height:     8 - 47 cm (3 - 18.5 in)

Blooming: June - Aug.


Club-spur Orchid

Platanthera clavellata (Michx.) Luer

Stem: erect with no hair and one big leaf and one little leaf (sometimes two little leaves).


Flowers: whitish-green to yellowish green. The lower lip is divided deeply into three lobes.  Its flower spike can reach as tall as 25 cm (10 in).   

Leaves: one large leaf on bottom half of the stem with one or two little leaves above that one.  The larger leaf can get to be as big as 19 cm (7.5 in) x 3.5 cm (1.4 in).  

Comments: because of its small white flowers, it is often overlooked by observers.  It is more common in Michigan and further north.  This soft spoken little orchid is listed in Indiana as rare or uncommon.  It is found on sphagnum bogs, hummocks, meadows and mesic prairies.

Etymology: The genus, Platanthera, is derived from the Greek word, platys, meaning "flat" and the Greek word, anthera, meaning "anther".  Clavellata comes from the Latin words for being small club.

all photos by Nathanael Pilla

Species Present and Native
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The mission of Save the Dunes is to preserve, protect and restore the Indiana dunes and all natural resources in Northwest Indiana’s Lake Michigan Watershed for an enhanced quality of life.

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