Dense-flower Rein Orchid - Piperia elongata
Habenaria elegans var. elata, Piperia elegans var. elata
State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
In Montana Piperia elongata is known from a single 1957 herbarium specimen collected in Lincoln County, and more recently from a few photographed specimens from Flathead, Lake, and Missoula Counties. However, the more recent observations lack data on population size and extent, habitat condition, threats, and other information. Surveys are needed to better document its status in Montana.
- Details on Status Ranking and Review
ScoreU - Unknown
ScoreA - <100 sq km (< ~40 sq mi)
Area of Occupancy
ScoreA - 1 4-km2 grid cell
Number of Populations
ScoreA - 1 - 5
ScoreB - Narrow. Specialist or community with key requirements common
ScoreU - Unknown
ScoreU - Unknown
ScoreU - Unknown
ScoreA - Highly vulnerable
PLANTS: Perennial herbaceous stems, 30-40 mm tall, 1-12 mm in diameter (measured above basal leaves). Roots are tubers, 10-40 mm in length, with several fibrous rootlets. Sources: Douglas et al. 2001; Lesica et al. 2012; and Ackerman and Morgan in Flora of North America (FNA) 2002.
LEAVES: Basal, 2 to 5 in number and prostrate. Leaf shape is oblong, 7–15 cm in length, and 1-8.4 cm in width. Cauline leaves 4-22 in number and bract-like. Sources: Douglas et al. 2001; Lesica et al. 2012; and Ackerman and Morgan in FNA 2002.
INFLORESCENCE: A spike-like raceme of overlapping yellow-greenish flowers, 10–20 cm in length. Bracts 9–14 mm in length. Source: Lesica et al. 2012.
Flowers May-September (FNA 2002).
Dense Flower Rein Orchid
- Piperia elongata
*Inflorescence: Flowers are sparse to dense, tending to overlap yet not be crowded. Flowers do not spiral on the stem.
*Flowers: Petals and sepals are yellow-green to green.
*Lip petal: Has a long, slender spur, weakly curved spur, 6-15 mm long. The spur is more than twice as long as the lip petal.
*Leaves: Prostrate, but not appressed to the ground. Often withering by the time pollination occurs.Hillside Rein Orchid
- Piperia elegans
*Inflorescence: Flowers are crowded. Flowers do not spiral on the stem.
*Flowers: Petals are white with green sepals.
*Lip petal: Has a long, slender spur, weakly curved spur, 8-12 mm long. The spur is more than twice as long as the lip petal.
*Leaves: Prostrate, but not appressed to the ground. Often withering by the time pollination occurs.Alaska Rein Orchid
- Piperia unalascensis
*Inflorescence: Flowers are well-separated. Flowers do not spiral on the stem.
*Flowers: Petals and sepals are yellow-greenish.
*Lip petal: Has a short spur, clavate (club-shaped), 3-5 mm long. The spur is about as long as the lip petal.
*Leaves: Prostrate, but not appressed to the ground. Often withering by the time pollination occurs.Bog Orchids
*Flowers: Arranged in a spike-like raceme, but do not spiral around the stalk.
*Lip petal: Forms a downward pointing spur.
*Leaves: Either near the plant's base (basal) or leafy along entire stem (cauline). If basal than either appressed to the ground or only on the lower stem (lacking upper stem leaves). If cauline then leaves are sheathing, alternately-arranged, and may whither by the time pollination occurs.Ladies'-tresses
*Flowers: Arranged in a spike and spiral on the stalk to form 3- or 4- ranks/columns.
*Lip petal: Lacks a spur.
*Leaves: Relatively long and narrow. Largest at the base, becoming progressively smaller towards the inflorescence. Leaves usually do not whither by the time pollination occurs.
Canada: BC; USA: CA, ID, MT, OR, WA (FNA 2002). Known in Montana from one collection in Lincoln County (Lesica 2012).
(Lesica’s contribution from Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX.)
Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations:
(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version)
Map Help and Descriptions
(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)
Moist to wet meadows; valleys (Lesica 2012); dry, exposed habitats, forest chaparral (FNA 2002), shrubby areas, woods and woods edges, from lowland to montane elevations (Douglas et al. 2001). (Lesica’s contribution from Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX.)
Flowers: Green or yellow-green (Lesica 2012), not scented (Douglas et al. 2001), or if scented, then only faintly at night, sometimes smelling like honey (FNA 2002); sepals 4–6 mm long (Lesica 2012), the upper sepal more or less upright, the lateral sepals somewhat recurved (Douglas et al. 2001); petals sickle-shaped (falcate), 2-5.5 mm long (Douglas et al. 2001); lip petal deltoid-lanceolate, bent back (FNA 2002), 4–6 mm in length; spur weakly curved, 6–15 mm long (Lesica 2012).
Fruit: Capsule ascending to upright (Douglas et al. 2001), 5–10 mm in length (Lesica 2012); seeds brown (FNA 2002).
- Literature Cited AboveLegend: View Online Publication
- Douglas, G.W., D. Meidinger, and J. Pojar, editors. 2001. The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia. Volume 7. Monocotyledons (Orchidaceae through Zosteraceae). British Columbia Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks and British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Victoria. iv + 379 pp.
- Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2002. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Vol. 26. Magnoliophyta: Liliidae: Liliales and Orchidales. New York, NY: Oxford Univ. Press. xxvi + 723 pp.
- Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
- Additional ReferencesLegend: View Online Publication
Do you know of a citation we're missing?
- Althen, Craig. 2019. Submitted plant photographs and associated observation data. Spreadsheets of observation data and photographs provided electronically from May through December. Submitted to Andrea Pipp, MTNHP Botanist, Helena, Montana.