Platanthera nivea (Nuttall) Luer. Subgenus: Blephariglottis. Section: Gymnadeniopsis. Phen: May-Sep. Hab: Wet pine savannas, acid seepages. Dist: Essentially a Southeastern Coastal Plain endemic, P. nivea ranges from s. NJ and DE (at least formerly) south to FL and west to e. TX and e. AR; disjunct inland in Coffee County, TN (Eastern Highland Rim) and w. SC (in the uppermost Piedmont in the Blue Ridge Escarpment edge).
ID notes:The flowers are so white as to seem illuminated from within.
Origin/Endemic status: Endemic
Other Comments: This species is even more irregular than most Platanthera in its flowering, whole populations sometimes not flowering for a number of years. This species was once locally abundant in the outer Coastal Plain of the Carolinas and farther south; Correll (1950) describes "large colonies of this species which form a blanket of white over the landscape." Also see the picture in B.W. Wells’s Natural Gardens of North Carolina.
Synonymy: = Ar, ETx1, FNA26, K1, K3, K4, Tn, Brown (2002), Luer (1975); = Gymnadeniopsis nivea (Nutt.) Rydb. – S; = Habenaria nivea (Nutt.) Spreng. – C, F, G, GW1, RAB, Tn, Tx, WH3, Correll (1950)