Small whorled pogonia
), is a terrestrial orchid
found in temperate
Eastern North America
. Its range is from southern Maine
south to Georgia
and west to southern Ontario
, and Missouri
. Always considered a rare species, often legendarily so.
Habitat includes hardwood or conifer-hardwood forests, often in leaf litter along small "braided" intermittent streams.
Listed as a Threatened species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and listed as an endangered species by most states or provinces within its range.
Sometimes confused with the common Indian cucumber (Medeola virginiaca), which has similar whorled leaves, and grows in similar habitats.
Anectdotal tales of the species only appearing at widely-spaced intervals of as long as twenty to fifty years do not appear to be supported by field studies.
- Gleason, H.A. and A. Cronquist.1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York.
- Radis, R.P. 1983. Endangered, Threatened, Vulnerable, and Rare Vascular Plant Species of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.