Common Native Ferns of the Southern Piedmont
Common Native Shrubs of the Southern Piedmont
Common Native Trees of the Southern Piedmont
Common Native Vines of the Southern Piedmont
Common Native Wildflowers of the Southern Piedmont
Native Plant Bloom Chart
Downy Rattlesnake Plantain, taken on August 12, 2013.
Photo Credit: Mike Strickland
Goodyera pubescens can do well in the home landscape.
Many people are surprised to learn that there are a number of native orchids found in Georgia. One of the most easily recognized is the Goodyera pubescent, or Downy Rattlesnake Plantain. The Rattlesnake Plantain is found mostly in north Georgia and will form small colonies over time.
This small orchid is usually found in dry upland oak or pine woods, and, not surprisingly, likes a slightly acidic soil. It prefers medium shade to dappled shade. This perennial flower forms a ground-hugging rosette of dark green to blue-green leaves that have a very noticeable white primary vein along the midrib and numerous branching side veins. These veins are all connected by a series of smaller veins. The leaves are from one and a half to two and a half inches long and three fourths to one and a half inches across. From 20 to 50 small cylindrical flowers form along an erect stalk that can reach up to 14 inches tall. The Rattlesnake Plantain blooms in late summer. While its blooms are small, it is very easy to identify from its eye-catching leaves.
The small flowers are pollinated by bees, including bumblebees and green metallic bees.
Common uses for this plant include: woodland gardens, shady native flower gardens