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Lesser butterfly-orchid – Platanthera bifolia
Lesser butterfly-orchids – Platanthera bifolia
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.