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..
Rootstock short, with numerous fleshy roots. Stem scape-like, with 2 large leaves at the base. Flowers in a short loose spike, subtended by large bracts. Sepals united above, forming a hood. Petals connivent, somewhat adnate to the sepals. Lip wavy, produced into a spur. Column short, scarcely extending beyond the base of the lip. Anther 2-celled, its sacs divergent; pollinia granulose, 1 large mass in each sac, with a slender caudicle. Glands enclosed in a pouch. [Greek, referring to the hood-like united sepals.].
A monotypic genus of North America.
Orchis spectabilis L. Sp. PI. 943. 1753.
Galeorchis spectabilis Rydb. in Britton, Man. 292. 1901.
Stems 4'-12' high, thick, fleshy, 5-angled. Leaves 2, near the base of the stem, with 1 or 2 scales below them, obovate, sometimes 8' long and 4' wide, but usually smaller, clammy to the touch; spike 3-6-flowered; flowers about 1' long, violet-purple mixed with lighter purple and white; bracts folia-ceous, sheathing the ovaries; sepals united in an arching galea; petals connivent under the sepals, more or less attached to them; lip whitish, divergent, entire, about as long as the petals; spur obtuse, about 8" long; column violet on the back; capsule about 1' long, strongly angled.