longbract frog orchid

(Dactylorhiza viridis)

Conservation Status


No image available

  IUCN Red List

not listed


NNR - Unranked

SNR - Unranked


not listed

Wetland Indicator Status
  Great Plains

FACU - Facultative upland


FAC - Facultative

  Northcentral & Northeast

FAC - Facultative


The stem has 2 to 6 alternate leaves, at least 1 of them clearly above the base. They wrap around (sheathe) the stem at the base, without a leaf stalk or stalk-like inflated sheath.

The modified leaf (bract) subtending each flower is 2 to 3 times longer than that flower. The long, strap-shaped lower petal (lip) has three forward-pointing teeth at the tip. The middle tooth is reduced and usually inconspicuous. The spur is inconspicuous. It is pouch shaped, 1 16 to (2 to 3 mm) long, and is tucked behind the lip. The mouth of the spur is covered by a membrane with a small opening.




6 to 22


Flower Color


Greenish to yellowish, often tinged with purple or reddish-brown


Similar Species


Moderately moist to wet. Open deciduous woodlands, shrubby woodland borders, and thickets.




May 20 to August 10




Distribution Map



2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 25, 28, 29, 30.

The map at left includes historical records. Due to ongoing habitat loss, it may include counties where the longbract frog orchid is no longer found.








Extremely widespread; common but declining

  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Liliopsida (monocots)  


Asparagales (agaves, orchids, irises, and allies)  


Orchidaceae (orchids)  
  Subfamily Orchidoideae  
  Tribe Orchideae  


Dactylorhiza (marsh orchids)  

Long-bract frog orchid was originally given the Latin name Satyrium viride by Carl Linnaeus in 1753. It was later transferred to the bog orchid genus with the name Habenaria viridis. Later, it was placed in the monotypic (containing only one species) genus Coeloglossum. Based on molecular DNA studies published in 1997, it was suggested that it be moved to the genus Dactylorhiza. This suggestion was controversial and not widely accepted outside of Brittan. Recently, an extensive review (Bateman & Rudall, 2017) of the morphology, the phylogeny, and the scientific evidence of the two species Dactylorhiza viridis and Dactylorhiza iberica and the genus Coeloglossum was published in the Kew Bulletin in 2018 (published online December 23, 2017). The authors concluded that “there is no question in our minds that the most appropriate taxonomic decision, based on extensive and diverse scientific evidence, is to retain both viridis and iberica within Dactylorhiza.” The former genus Coeloglossum is now obsolete, and the widely used name Coeloglossum viride is a synonym of Dactylorhiza viridis.




Coeloglossum bracteatum

Coeloglossum viride

Coeloglossum viride ssp. bracteatum

Coeloglossum viride var. islandicum

Coeloglossum viride var. virescens

Coeloglossum viride var. viride

Habenaria bracteata

Habenaria viridis

Habenaria viridis var. bracteata

Habenaria viridis var. interjecta


Common Names


bracted green orchid

bracted orchid

frog orchid

frog orchis

long-bract frog orchid

long-bract green orchis

long-bracted frog orchid

long-bracted orchid

longbract frog orchid

longbract orchid












Modified leaf at the base of a flower stalk, flower cluster, or inflorescence.



The lower part of the leaf that surrounds the stem. Verb: sheathe



On flowers: a hollow tubular appendage, often containing nectar, formed from a sepal or petal. On branches: a short shoot bearing leaves or flowers and fruit.

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Other Videos
  Orchid pollination 18: Pollination of Dactylorhiza viridis by honeybees
Jean Claessens

Published on Feb 2, 2015

All species of Dactylorhiza are deceit-flowers: they do not produce any nectar. The only exception is Dactylorhiza viridis, which produces nectar at the lip base and in the spur. This is the first mention of Honeybees as pollinators of this orchid.

  Orchid pollination 22: Ant pollination of Dactylorhiza viridis by the ant Formica exsecta
Jean Claessens

Published on Mar 14, 2017

Ant pollination of orchids is very rare. Until now only one case was known. In the Dolomites (Italy) we observed how the frog orchid (Dactylorhiza viridis) was pollinated by the ant Formica exsecta

  Dactylorhiza viridis 1.mp4
Beppe Lobba

Published on Mar 7, 2016

Video del Centaurea Nigrescens Asteraceae: Fiordaliso nerastro - Seguici su www.traisassfiorii.it




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