We have recently published ‘Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions’: i.e. tropical and sub-tropical regions. We rely on regular donations to keep our free database going and help fund development of this and another book we are planning on food forest plants for Mediterranean climates. Please give what you can to keep PFAF properly funded. More >>>

Follow Us:

 

Platanthera bifolia - (L.)Rich.

Common Name Butterfly Orchid
Family Orchidaceae
USDA hardiness 5-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Grassy hills and open woods on base-rich and especially on calcareous soils[17].
Range Most of Europe, including Britain, to N. Africa, N. Asia, the Caucasus.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Platanthera bifolia Butterfly Orchid


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:406_Platanthera_bifolia.jpg
Platanthera bifolia Butterfly Orchid
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Lycaon

 

Translate this page:

Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Platanthera bifolia is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in).
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 6. It is in flower from May to July. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Lepidoptera (Moths & Butterflies).
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habenaria bifolia. Orchis bifolia. O. montana.

Plant Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Root
Edible Uses:

Tuber - cooked[46, 61, 177]. It is a source of 'salep', a fine white to yellowish-white powder that is obtained by drying the tuber and grinding it into a powder[2, 105, 177, 183]. Salep is a starch-like substance with a sweetish taste and a faint somewhat unpleasant smell[4]. It is said to be very nutritious and is made into a drink or can be added to cereals and used in making bread etc[5, 100, 183]. One ounce of salep is said to be enough to sustain a person for a day[100, 115].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Demulcent  Nutritive

Salep (see above for more details) is very nutritive and demulcent[4]. It has been used as a diet of special value for children and convalescents, being boiled with water, flavoured and prepared in the same way as arrowroot[4]. Rich in mucilage, it forms a soothing and demulcent jelly that is used in the treatment of irritations of the gastro-intestinal canal[4]. One part of salep to fifty parts of water is sufficient to make a jelly[4]. The tuber, from which salep is prepared, should be harvested as the plant dies down after flowering and setting seed[4].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

The Bookshop: Edible Plant Books

Our Latest books on Perennial Plants For Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens in paperback or digital formats.

Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions: 250+ Plants For Tropical Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.
Edible Tropical Plants

Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions: 250+ Plants For Tropical Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.

More
Plants for Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.
Edible Temperate Plants

Plants for Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.

More
PFAF have eight books available in paperback and digital media.
More Books

PFAF have eight books available in paperback and digital formats. Browse the shop for more information.

Shop Now

Other Uses

None known

Special Uses

Scented Plants

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Easily grown in a sunny position in a moist loam enriched with leaf mould[42]. Flourishes in almost any soil and situation[1, 42]. Prefers a moderately shady and well-drained though damp position[1]. Orchids are, in general, shallow-rooting plants of well-drained low-fertility soils. Their symbiotic relationship with a fungus in the soil allows them to obtain sufficient nutrients and be able to compete successfully with other plants. They are very sensitive to the addition of fertilizers or fungicides since these can harm the symbiotic fungus and thus kill the orchid[230]. The flowers diffuse a most seductive perfume at night and are pollinated by the night hawk moth[245]. Hybridizes freely with several species of the genus Orchis[42].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

Type a value in the Celsius field to convert the value to Fahrenheit:

Fahrenheit:

image

The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees,Edible Shrubs, Woodland Gardening, and Temperate Food Forest Plants. Our new book is Food Forest Plants For Hotter Conditions (Tropical and Sub-Tropical).

Shop Now

Plant Propagation

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[200]. 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. Make sure that you keep plenty of soil with each plant. It is also said to be possible to transplant orchids after they have flowered but whilst they are still in leaf.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Platanthera dilatataWhite Bog-Orchid, Scentbottle, Sierra bog orchidPerennial0.5 0-0  LMHSNWe31 

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

Expert comment

Author

(L.)Rich.

Botanical References

17200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

Add a comment

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at [email protected]. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Platanthera bifolia  
© 2010, Plants For A Future. Plants For A Future is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Charity No. 1057719, Company No. 3204567.