Family, Orchis. These flowers are small, about 1/4 inch long, with free side sepals, the upper sepal with the petals, united into a helmet-shaped form. Lip, a pocket, or sac-shaped. Flowers in a dense, terminal spike on a scape 6 to 20 inches high, bearing several scales. Leaves, several, clustered at the root, ovate, softly downy, conspicuously veined with white. August to October.

A pretty and common plant of the woods, especially pine woods, known at once by the pretty rosettes of white-veined leaves at the root. Whole plant soft-downy. Range, over the Atlantic seaboard and westward to Tennessee. (See illustration, p. 55.)

E. ripens is a species found in woods, especially under evergreens; lower and more slender than the last, with leaves not so strongly veined with white as in E. pubcscens, short-petioled, ovate, pointed, advancing up somewhat on the stem on one side. Flowers in a one-sided spike, small, greenish white, the lip pocket-shaped and curving backward at the apex. July and August.

Rattlesnake Plantain (Epipuctis pubescens)

Rattlesnake Plantain (Epipuctis pubescens)

Near the coast and westward to Kentucky and Tennessee.

E. decipiens is stout-stemmed, with leaves less strongly veined with white, sometimes not at all. Flowers rather crowded in onesided racemes. Lip, not sac-shaped, but much swollen at base, prolonged into a point at the apex. July and August.

Dry woods, northward.