Herb: White Bog-Orchid

Latin name: Platanthera dilatata

Synonyms: Habenaria dilatata

Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid Family)

Medicinal use of White Bog-Orchid:

The root juice has been mixed with water and drunk in the treatment of gravel.

Description of the plant:


50 cm
(1 foot)

Habitat of the herb:

Wet soils of swamps, bogs, banks of springs and streams.

Edible parts of White Bog-Orchid:

Root - cooked. They taste like frozen potatoes.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - surface sow, preferably as soon as it is ripe, in the greenhouse and do not allow the compost to dry out. The seed of this species is extremely simple, it has a minute embryo surrounded by a single layer of protective cells. It contains very little food reserves and depends upon a symbiotic relationship with a species of soil-dwelling fungus. The fungal hyphae invade the seed and enter the cells of the embryo. The orchid soon begins to digest the fungal tissue and this acts as a food supply for the plant until it is able to obtain nutrients from decaying material in the soil. It is best to use some of the soil that is growing around established plants in order to introduce the fungus, or to sow the seed around a plant of the same species and allow the seedlings to grow on until they are large enough to move. Division in autumn. The plant is very intolerant of root disturbance, any moving or dividing should be attempted in the autumn, keep a large ball of soil around the plant.

Cultivation of White Bog-Orchid:

Wet soils of swamps, bogs, banks of springs and streams.

Known hazards of Platanthera dilatata:

The leaves are said to be poisonous.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.