This magnificent Orchid grows from one to five feet high, in rich, wet woods and meadows, from June to August. It is the largest and handsomest of its genus, and is a prize that is well worth the wet feet and temper-testing search, usually required to behold this one of the most beautiful of all our American wild flowers. The tall, leafy stalk is often deeply grooved and twisted, and grows from a fleshy root. The long-pointed, lance-shaped leaves are smooth, shining and strongly ribbed. They suddenly become very much smaller and narrower as they mount the stalk. The exquisite lilac or purplish flowers are laden with a heavy fragrance, and are loosely clustered in a large, thick, terminal, feathery spike, which is very, very showy. The upper petals and sepals are erect, flaring and connecting. The petals are oblong and more or less toothed. The widely spreading and highly coloured lip is cleft into three broad, fan-shaped divisions, each of which is finely fringed to about the middle. The long, slender spur is thread-like and curving. This tallest and grandest of the Orchids ranges from New Brunswick, Ontario and Michigan, south to North Carolina.
LARGE PURPLE-FRINGED ORCHIS. Habenaria fimbriata.