Fringed Orchid - Lesser Purple
Ease to Grow: Moderate
Native Range: Peat Bogs of Eastern North America.
Zones: 4-9 (3-10)
Lesser Purple Fringed Orchid, Platanthera psycodes, is stunning in the summer bog garden. Very similar to the Greater Purple Fringed Orchid, but with slightly smaller flowers. It has a bright purple cylindrical cluster of 10-50+ dainty flowers with showy, fringed lips and long spurs. It is a late summer bloomer, and flowers last for a month or more. Leaves are long and lanceolate, reducing to small bracts with the flower cluster. Flower spikes are tall and benefit from staking, and protection from the wind. Best flowering occurs with plants in full sun, shade tends to reduce flower size and abundance. It is a bog plant which grows in open, acidic bogs with sphagnum moss, but is adaptable to drier, upland conditions, as long as the soil remains damp during flowering. It does best in wet conditions, and frequently sends out a stolon budding small plants. It is an adaptable and vigorous grower. Seeds are very fine and can be a challenge to germinate. It is winter hardy, and should be protected from rodents during dormancy. Mulch with 4+" of pine needles in the Fall. Leave at least a 1" of needles after spring cleanup. The rhizomes can be stored in damp sphagnum at 35°F (2°C) in a refrigerator for 3 or 4 months. Water with rain/distilled water, they are sensitive to mineral buildup. It spreads nicely and grows well among pitcher plants. It is nearly identical to the Yellow Fringed Orchid in all respects, except color. It is a late summer star in the bog garden, and makes good cut flowers.
Our plants are not collected from the wild, and are propagated from root divisions of plants in our collection.
For Fringed Orchids size refers to age of plants. Small (1 year), medium (2-3 years), large [flowering size] (4+ years).
Plants are shipped bare-root, wrapped in damp sphagnum moss. In it's dormant season, it will be shipped as a dormant root/rhizome. Photographs are representative of species, and not the specific plant shipped.
Height: 8" - 36"
Plant Type: Perennial, cold temperate
Soil: Bog Orchid Mix
Soil pH: 4.5-6
Light: Full to Partial Sun
Use: Grows best outdoors in the bog garden or pots.