Alcove bog orchid
Northeast Arizona, east Utah and a small area of northwest Colorado
Moist meadows, wet ledges, besides springs and seeps; 4,000 to 7,000 feet
Elliptic to oblanceolate, pale green, up to 6 inches long and 1.5 inches across
Platanthera zothecina is an uncommon species, endemic to the Colorado Plateau, where it is usually found in wet, shady alcoves, beside springs and seeps. The whitish green leaves are few in number, and mostly basal, and widely-spreading; they have rounded tips and are crossed by parallel lengthwise veins. Leaf bases clasp the stem. Leaves are relatively thick, almost succulent. Upper stem leaves are greatly reduced in size. All plant parts are hairless.
The greenish flowers form in a narrow spike, each subtended by a green bract. Flowers have a relatively long lower petal, the spur of which is narrow, white and cylindrical in shape and tends to angle downwards; it may be up to twice the length of the lip just above. The two upper petals form a hood, enclosing two stamens. The upper of the three green sepals is also somewhat hooded, while the two side sepals are reflexed. Anther sacs are light brown.