This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol1", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Plants with tall and leafy stems and fleshy or tuberous roots. Flowers several or numerous in an open spike with foliaceous bracts; corolla white, yellow or purple; sepals broad and spreading or reflexed; lip variously fringed or 3-parted and cut-toothed; spur longer than the lip. Anther-sacs widely separated and usually diverging, their narrow beaklike bases supported by the arms of"the stigma, strongly projecting forward and upward; gland naked; pollinia granular. [Greek, fringed throat.]
About 10 species of North America. Type species: Blephariglottis albiflora Raf.
Lip not 3-parted, pectinately fringed.
Spur half as long as the ovary; flowers yellow.
Spur longer than the ovary.
Flowers bright yellow.
Segments of the lip deeply fringed.
Segments narrow; fringe of a few threads.
Segments broadly fan-shaped; fringe copious.
Segments fringed to the middle or deeper; flowers white.
Segments not fringed beyond the middle; flowers lilac, rarely white.
Raceme 4-5 cm. thick; lip 1-2 cm. broad.
Raceme 1-3 cm. thick; lip 8-12 mm. broad.
Segments of the lip cut-toothed; flowers violet-purple.
194. 1813. Blephariglottis cristata Raf. Fl. Tell. 2: 39. 1836.
Stem slender, angled, 8'-2º high. Leaves narrowly lanceolate, 2's' long, 3"-8" wide, the upper much smaller, similar to the bracts; bracts as long as the flowers; spike 2'-4' long, dense; flowers orange; sepals roundish-ovate, about 1 1/2" long, the lateral ones spreading; petals narrower, pectinate-fringed; lip slightly longer than the sepals, not 3-parted, but deeply fringed to the middle or beyond; spur 2"-3" long, about half as long as the ovary; anther-sacs divergent at the base, widely separated.
In bogs, New Jersey to Florida, Arkansas and Louisiana. July-Aug. A hybrid between this species and B. blephariglottis, from Delaware, is known as Habenaria Cdnbyi Ames.