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..
Orchis ciliaris L. Sp. PI. 939. 1753.
Stem slender, 1°-2 1/2° high. Leaves lanceolate, acute, 4'-8' long, 6"-18" wide, the upper smaller; spike closely many-flowered, 3'-6' long, sometimes nearly 3' thick; flowers orange or yellow, large, showy; sepals orbicular or broadly ovate, oblique at the base, 2"-4" long; the lateral ones mostly re-flexed; petals much smaller, oblong or cuneate, usually toothed; lip oblong, 5"-7" long, copiously fringed more than half-way to the middle; spur 1- 1 1 /2' long, very slender; anther-sacs large, divergent at the base, bearing a small white tubercle on the outer side.
Stems and leaves similar to those of the preceding species. Spikes densely or rather loosely many-flowered; flowers pure white, usually a little smaller than those of B. ciliaris; lip narrower, oblong; petals toothed or somewhat fringed at the apex, rarely entire; fringe of the lip copious or sparse.
1810. B. lacera Farwell, Ann. Rep. Mich. Acad. Sci. 2: 42.
Stem rather slender, 1°-2° high. Leaves firm, lanceolate, 5'-8' long, io"-i8" wide, the upper gradually smaller; spike 2r-6' long, loose; flowers greenish yellow; sepals ovate, obtuse, about 3" long, the upper one a little broader than the others, petals linear, entire, obtuse, about as long as the sepals; lip 3-parted, the segments narrow, deeply fringed, the fringe of a few threads about 1/2' long; spur 7" 8" long, curved, shorter than the ovary, clavate at the apex; anther-sacs divergent at the base, their bases beaked and projecting upward; glands oblong-linear, hyaline, as long as the caudicle.
In swamps and wet woods, Newfoundland to Minnesota, south to Georgia and Arkansas. June-July. Hybridizes with B. psycodes.