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Platanthera bifolia

Platanthera bifolia (*)

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Monocots
Ordo: Asparagales

Familia: Orchidaceae
Subfamilia: Orchidoideae
Tribus: Orchideae
Subtribus: Orchidinae
Genus: Platanthera
Species: Platanthera bifolia
Subspecies: (3)
P. b. subsp. bifolia – P. b. subsp. osca – P. b. subsp. subalpina

Platanthera bifolia (L.) Rich., De Orchid. Eur.: 35 (1817)

Type species:


Orchis bifolia L., Sp. Pl.: 939 (1753)
Orchis alba Lam., Fl. Franç., ed. 2, 3: 502 (1795), nom. superfl.
Lysias bifolia (L.) Salisb., Trans. Hort. Soc. London 1: 288 (1812)
Habenaria bifolia (L.) R.Br. in W.T.Aiton, Hortus Kew. 5: 193 (1813)
Sieberia bifolia (L.) Spreng., Anleit. Kenntn. Gew., ed. 2, 2(1): 282 (1817)
Satyrium bifolium (L. Wahlenb., Fl. Suec. 2: 579 (1826)
Gymnadenia bifolia (L.) G.Mey., Chloris Han.: 540 (1836)
Conopsidium stenantherum Wallr., Linnaea 14: 147 (1840), nom. superfl.
Orchis stenanthera E.H.L.Krause in J.Sturm, Deutschl. Fl. Abbild., ed. 2, 4: 52 (1905), nom. superfl.

Native distribution areas:

Northern Europe
Denmark, Finland, Føroyar, Great Britain, Ireland, Norway, Sweden.
Middle Europe
Austria, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland.
Southwestern Europe
Baleares, Corse, France, Portugal, Sardegna, Spain.
Southeastern Europe
Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Romania, Sicilia, Turkey-in-Europe, Yugoslavia.
Eastern Europe
Belarus, Baltic States, Krym, Central European Russia, East European Russia, North European Russia, South European Russia, Northwest European Russia, Ukraine.
Northern Africa
Algeria, Tunisia.
Altay, Buryatiya, Chita, Irkutsk Krasnoyarsk, West Siberia.
Middle Asia
North Caucasus, Transcaucasus.
Western Asia
Iran, Lebanon-Syria, Turkey.

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition

Platanthera bifolia - Köhler–s Medizinal-Pflanzen-245

Primary references

Pridgeon, A.M., Cribb, P.J., Chase, M.W. & Rasmussen, F.N. (eds.) 2001. Genera Orchidacearum Volume 2: Orchidoideae (Part one); page 345 ff., Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-850710-0
Richard, L.C.M. 1818. Mémoires du Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle 4: 57.


Govaerts, R. et al. 2019. Platanthera bifolia in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2019 September 1. Reference page.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2019. Platanthera bifolia in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2019 September 1. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2019. Platanthera bifolia. Published online. Accessed: 1 September 2019.
The Plant List 2013. Platanthera bifolia in The Plant List Version 1.1. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2019 September 1. 2019. Platanthera bifolia. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2019 September 1.

Vernacular names

azərbaycanca: Qoşayarpaq platantera
беларуская: Чараўнік двухлісты
čeština: Vemeník dvoulistý
Cymraeg: Tegeirian llydanwyrdd bach
dansk: Bakke-Gøgelilje
Deutsch: Zweiblättrige Waldhyazinthe
English: Lesser butterfly-orchid
español: Satirión blanco de dos hojas
eesti: Kahelehine käokeel
suomi: Valkolehdokki
français: Platanthère à deux feuilles
hornjoserbsce: Dwułopjenata kokulinda
magyar: Fehér sarkvirág
italiano: Platantera comune
lietuvių: Dvilapė blandis
latviešu: Smaržīgā naktsvijole
norsk bokmål: Nattfiol
Nederlands: Welriekende nachtorchis
polski: Podkolan biały
русский: Двулистная любка
slovenčina: Vemenník dvojlistý
slovenščina: Dvolistni vimenjak
svenska: Nattviol
Türkçe: Guguk salebi
українська: Любка дволиста
中文: 細距舌唇蘭, 细距舌唇兰
中文(简体): 细距舌唇兰
中文(繁體): 細距舌唇蘭
中文(臺灣): 細距舌唇蘭

Platanthera bifolia, commonly known as the lesser butterfly-orchid,[1] is a species of orchid in the genus Platanthera, having certain relations with the genus Orchis, where it was previously included and also with the genus Habenaria. It is a Palaearctic species occurring from Ireland in the west, across Europe and Asia to Korea and Japan. It is also found in North Africa.[2][3] The name Platanthera is derived from Greek, meaning "broad anthers", while the species name, bifolia, means "two leaves".

Platanthera bifolia, flower showing the parallel pollinia

Lesser butterfly-orchids are not to be confused with the greater butterfly-orchid, which are about the same size. Lesser butterfly-orchids are distinguished by their two shining green basal leaves, especially of the hill form, which are shorter and broader and by the angle of the pollinia. The upper sepal and petals form a loose triangular hood above the pollinia, which lie parallel and close together, obscuring the opening into the spur, which is long and almost straight. There are usually around 25 white flowers tinged with yellow-green in a slim flower spike. The flowers are night-scented, but the chemical components of the scent are different from those of greater butterfly-orchid and attract different pollinators.

Hybrids of the two butterfly-orchids are rare, as are those between lesser butterfly-orchid and other species. However, hybrids have been recorded with frog orchid in South Uist (1949) and with the common spotted-orchid and the heath spotted-orchid.

The lesser butterfly-orchid occupies a wide range of habitats, being far more tolerant of acid conditions than the greater butterfly-orchid. They are found in grasslands, woodlands (especially beech woods in southern England), in hill pastures up to 400m, on heaths and moorland, and in tussocky marshy ground.

Sphingid moths are attracted by the scent of this orchid, and tend to hover in front of the flowers, resting their forelegs on the lip. As the proboscis enters the spur it pushes between the pollinia, dislodging the sticky discs which adhere to it. Pollinators include pine, small elephant and, to a lesser extent, elephant hawk-moths.

This species has suffered a serious decline, especially in central and southern England, as a result of woodland clearance. Upland populations in the north and west have suffered from overgrazing.

BSBI List 2007 (xls). Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-06-26. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
"World Checklist of Selected Plant Families".
"World Checklist of Selected Plant Families TDWG Geocodes" (PDF).

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