Veramium decipiens (Hooker) Piper
The common name applied to this plant refers to the resemblance
of the beautiful white veinings of the leaves to the markings on a
rattlesnake. It seems a pity to be obliged to include the word "plan-
tain" in its name, however, for it is not in any way related to the weeds
to which this name applies, being instead a delicate orchid. The tech-
nical name of the genus is not used in all books, some authors pre-
ferring to substitute Epipactis or Goodyera. The rosette of leaves is more
conspicuous than the flowers, which are borne, usually, on one side
of a stout stem. The plant loves decaying wood, and it grows fre-
quently under evergreen trees where the air is cool and damp, though
the soil is dry.
Western rattlesnakeplantain occurs from the mountains of New
Mexico and California northward to British Columbia and sparingly
eastward to the Great Lakes region, and even to northern Maine and
We found it in the Selkirk Mountains twenty miles beyond Gla-
cier, British Columbia, at an altitude of 3,000 feet.
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