Goodyera tesselata (Tesselated Rattlesnake Plantain)
|Also known as:||Checkered Rattlesnake Plantain|
|Habitat:||part shade, shade; sandy coniferous or mixed forests, Jack Pine stands|
|Bloom season:||June - August|
|Plant height:||7 to 13 inches|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: FACU MW: FACU NCNE: FACU|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Tall and narrow, spike-like raceme of 21 to 45 moderately spaced, tiny, pubescent (hairy) white flowers each about 1/8 inch across. The lower lip is more receded with a lip extending out; lateral petals and sepals are white and spreading outward.
Leaves and stem:
Leaves are evergreen, forming the season prior to bloom, mostly basal, 1 to 2½ inches long, oval to egg-shaped with a blunt tip, dull green with pale green to white reticulation. A few scale-like leaves are alternately attached on the single pubescent (hairy) stem.
Perhaps the middle child of Minnesota's Goodyera species, its range is akin to G. repens (Lesser Rattlesnake Plantain) and so as well can be found growing in close proximity with it. The opposite of the Lesser, Tesselated gravitates strongly to drier upland sites. As children of like nature can play and occasionally produce a hybrid. Other differences between the 2 species are Lesser is a smaller plant with smaller leaves that have a more blotchy reticulation. Also note that the common name Checkered Rattlesnake Plantain is more commonly used by other references (in print and on the web), but Tesselated is the preferred common name in MN.
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Photos by K. Chayka taken along Hwy 64 in Cass County. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk, taken along Hwy 64 in Cass and Hubbard counties.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?