Flowering scape 6 to 20 inches high, densely glandular-pubescent, bearing several lanceolate scales, from a branching, fleshy, perennial rootstock. Leaves all near the base of the scape, I to 3 inches long, two-thirds to 1 inch wide, pointed at the apex, rather abruptly contracted into short petioles, oval or ovate in shape, rather strongly reticulated with white along the principal veins on the upper surface, pale green beneath. Flowers white or tinged with green, forming a rather dense terminal spike which is not one-sided; each flower about one-fourth of an inch long or slightly less; lateral sepals ovate; upper sepals united with the petals to form an ovate hood (galea); lip saccate with a short broad blunt recurved or spreading tip.
Figure XII Downy Rattlesnake Plantain Peramium pubescens (Willdenow) (MacMillan)
In dry woods, Maine to Ontario and Minnesota, south to Florida and Tennessee. Flowering in July and August.
The Lesser Rattlesnake Plantain (Peramium ophioides (Fer-nald) Rydberg) is only about 6 to 10 inches high, with smaller, ovate, white-blotched leaves and small, greenish white flowers, one-eighth to one-sixth of an inch long in a one-sided spike. Frequent in woods.