Platanthera colemanii (Rand.Morgan & Glic.) R.M.Bateman

Coleman's Rein Orchid

Facts About

Accepted Synonym: Piperia colemanii

Platanthera colemanii, Coleman's Rein Orchid, is a rare California endemic that grows in a narrow band from the southern Sierra Nevada to the Cascade Mountains. This orchid may reach a height of over 50 cm with an inflorescence of 100 or more, translucent green, scentless flowers. The grass-like basal leaves angle up from the ground and may begin to wither when the plant is still in flower. The spur of P. colemanii is always shorter than the lip- a key feature that distinquishes this orchid from the more common P. unalascensis, whose spur usually equals or exceeds the length of the lip. This orchid occurs primarily in open coniferous forests and chaparral thickets in deep, sandy substrates.

Platanthera colemanii is considered vulnerable, and although this orchid does occur within the protected boundaries of Yosemite National Park, many colonies occur in areas outside the protection of State or National Parks and are subject to habitat loss.


Pollinator information for this orchid has not been reported.

Ecosystem Type

Disturbed habitats, forests, shrublands or thickets, woodlands


Leaf arrangement:
Number of leaves on stem:
  • two
  • three
Form of the labellum:
the labellum is not pouch-like
Labellum outline:
the labellum is simple
Main color of labellum:
green to brown
Nectar spur:
Inflorescence type:
the inflorescence is a spike
Labellum characteristics:
the labellum has a spur
Labellum length:
2–5 mm
Sepal length:
2–4 mm
Plant height:
16–53 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 Vulnerable
US Status N/A
Canadian Status N/A

North America Distribution

Adapted from USDA data