Sweden wildflowers: Lesser butterfly-orchid

Platanthera bifolia, SE: Nattviol, DE: Zweiblättrige Waldhyazinthe,
NL: Welriekende nachtorchis, UK: Lesser butterfly-orchid

Scientific name:  Platanthera bifolia (L.) L.C.Rich.
Swedish name:  Nattviol
German name:  Zweiblättrige Waldhyazinthe
Nederlandse naam:  Welriekende nachtorchis
English name:  Lesser butterfly-orchid
Family:  Orchidaceae, Orchid family, Orkidéer

Sweden Flowers, Platanthera bifolia, Nattviol, Zweiblättrige Waldhyazinthe, Welriekende nachtorchis, Lesser butterfly-orchid

Life form:  Tuberous perennial herb
Stems:  Height up to 30cm, stem arising from two broad basal leaves
Leaves:  Two basal oval leaves at the base of aspike-like inflorescence
Flowers:  Many flowerd spike with cream, whitish flowers, sweetly scented in the evening; each flower bears a very long slender spur at the rear; each flower contains two pollinaria situated on each side of the spur entrance; each pollinium contains hundreds of massulae
Flowering Period:  June-July
Fruits:  The fruit is commonly pollen limited; microscopically tiny seed
Habitat:  Meadows, open woodlands
Distribution:  From Skåne to Jamtland

Platanthera bifolia, Nattviol, Zweiblättrige Waldhyazinthe, Welriekende nachtorchis, Lesser butterfly-orchid


Derivation of the botanical name:
Platanthera, Greek platos wide; anthera stamens.
bifolia, bi- two; folium leaf, the name means two-bladed, referring to the two basal leaves.
  • The standard author abbreviation L. is used to indicate Carl Linnaeus (1707 – 1778), a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, the father of modern taxonomy.
  • The standard author abbreviation L.C.Rich. is used to indicate Louis Claude Richard (1754 – 1821), a French botanist and botanical illustrator.

Flowers in Sweden, Wildflowers, Nature



Platanthera bifolia, Nattviol, Zweiblättrige Waldhyazinthe, Welriekende nachtorchis, Lesser butterfly-orchid