Goodyera pubescens (Willd.) R. Br. in Ait. & Ait. f.

Downy Rattlesnake Plantain

Facts About

Accepted Synonyms: Neottia pubescens, Peramium pubescens

Goodyera pubescens, commonly known as Downy Rattlesnake Plantain, is distributed across eastern and central Canada and the United States, from Quebec to Oklahoma. Like other members of its genus, it produces multiple basal leaves which stay green throughout the winter; its leaves are distinctly veined with white and by a white stripe down the center. It has a densely packed inflorescence, producing up to 57 small, white flowers with a pouch-like labellum and a hood formed by connivent petals and dorsal sepal. It can be distinguished from G. tesselata by its more markedly saccate labellum, and from G. repens by its more dense, tightly packed inflorescence. It grows in coniferous, deciduous, or mixed forests, and occasionally in moist humus or swamps.

Goodyera pubescens is considered globally secure, but may be rare in several southern states.


Pollinator information for this orchid is limited but known pollinators for this species include Augochlora pura and Augochlorella aurata. This orchid attracts different pollinators than other species of Goodyera which rely primarily on bees in the genus Bombus.

Ecosystem Type

Forests, woodlands


Leaf arrangement:
Number of leaves on stem:
Form of the labellum:
the labellum is pouch-like
Labellum outline:
the labellum is simple
Main color of labellum:
Nectar spur:
Inflorescence type:
the inflorescence is a spike
Labellum characteristics:
the labellum is saccate
Labellum length:
2.5–4.2 mm
Sepal length:
3.1–5.3 mm
Plant height:
10–50 cm
Show All Characteristics

Native to North America


North American Conservation Status & Distribution

Conservation Status

Select a location to view conservation status:

Conservation and Wetland Status
Global Rank Secure
US Status N/A
Canadian Status Secure

North America Distribution

Adapted from USDA data