(Plate XCVI.)

Family

Orchis.

Colour

White.

Odour

Scentless.

Range

Atlantic states.

Time of Bloom

Late summer.

Flowers: very small; arranged loosely on one side of a tall spike. Lip, inflated. Leaves; from the base and lying flatly about the ground in a circle; ovate; conspicuously veined and spotted with a light shade of yellow, almost white.

This upright, delicate stalk of tiny white flowers suggests little to us of the terrible, brilliantly-coloured monster with flaming eyes and upraised fangs for which it has been named. But it springs from the same root as its curious leaves, and they are supposed to have a peculiar efficacy in curing the bites of rattlesnakes. The Indians are credited with placing great faith in them. It may be that they have a soothing effect on the wound; but once let the two honey-like drops of venom that the snake has at the bottom of his fang be interjected, and the little white blossoms would prove as effectual in restoring the victim.

P.pubescens is a more beautiful variety, as its flowers grow less on one side of the spike and the singular mottling of the leaves is more pronounced, being with white and dark green.