Platanthera michaelii (Greene) R.M.Bateman

Michael's Rein Orchid

Facts About

Accepted Synonyms: Habenaria michaelii, Piperia michaelii, Piperia elongata subsp. michaelii

Platanthera michaelii, Michael's Rein Orchid, is endemic to California where it grows among coastal scrub and coniferous forests and extends inland to the Sierra Nevada foothills. This orchid has 3-4 basal leaves that usually fade before the flowers fully open. The inflorescence has numerous yellow-green flowers that are fragrant in the evening. The labellum is widely triangular with a much longer spur that points downward. Inland populations are often found in oak woodlands and bloom earlier than the coastal plants which have denser inflorescences.

Platanthera michaelii is considered vulnerable across its range where urban development is the primary threat.


Pollinator information for this orchid has not been reported.

Ecosystem Type

Forests, shrublands or thickets, woodlands


Leaf arrangement:
Number of leaves on stem:
  • three
  • four
Form of the labellum:
the labellum is not pouch-like
Labellum outline:
the labellum is simple
Main color of labellum:
  • green to brown
  • yellow
Nectar spur:
Inflorescence type:
the inflorescence is a spike
Labellum characteristics:
the labellum is simple
Labellum length:
1.7–6 mm
Sepal length:
2–4.8 mm
Plant height:
9–70 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