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Nodding Pogonia (Triphora trianthophora)
Nodding Pogonia (Triphora trianthophora), a State Special Concern plant, is found in upland, hardwood forests, often with a well-developed humus layer. Blooming occurs throughout August; fruiting occurs early September through early October. The optimal identification period for this species is early August through early October.
Synonyms: Arethusa trianthophoros, Pogonia trianthophora, Triphora trianthophora var. schaffneri
- Distinguishing characteristics: As is true with most orchids, nodding pogonia is very distinctive and when in flower can not be confused with any other species.
- Flower characteristics: Flowers few, axillary, ephemeral, 1.5 to 2 cm, white to pale pink; lip with 3 prominent green ridges, crisped at the tip with lateral lobes upturned.
- Fruit characteristics: Seed capsules pendant, 1.5 cm long.
- Leaf characteristics: Alternate, sessile, ovate-acute, 8 to 20 mm long, 6 to 12 mm wide.
- Blooming phenology: throughout August
- Fruiting phenology: early September through early October
- Optimum time to identify: early August through early October
- Growth form: Forb-erect
- Vegetative reproduction:
- Life cycle: Perennial
- Comments: Associated Species: Acer saccharum, Tilia americana, Quercus rubra, Fraxinus americana, Athyrium filix-femina, Trillium grandiflorum, Smilacina racemosa.
Status and Natural Heritage Inventory documented occurrences in Wisconsin
The table below provides information about the protected status - state and federal - and the rank (S and G Ranks) for Nodding Pogonia (Triphora trianthophora). See the Working List Key for more information about abbreviations. Counties shaded blue have documented occurrences for this species in the Wisconsin Natural Heritage Inventory database. The map is provided as a general reference of where this species has been found to date and is not meant as a range map.
|Federal Status in Wisconsin||none|
|Tracked by NHI||Y|
Habitats and landscapes
The Natural Heritage Inventory has developed scores indicating the degree to which each of Wisconsin's rare plant species is associated with a particular natural community or ecological landscape. This information is similar to that found in the Wildlife Action Plan for animals. As this is a work in progress, we welcome your suggestions and feedback.
General habitat information
- Habitat description: Found in upland, hardwood forests, often with a well-developed humus layer.
- Soils: Rich, moist soils and rotting logs.
This table lists the natural communities that are associated with Nodding Pogonia. Scores for natural community associations are: "significant" association (score=3), "moderate association" (score=2) or the species can be present but is only weakly associated with the community (score=1).
This table lists the ecological landscape association scores for Nodding Pogonia. The scores (3=High, 2=Moderate, 1=Low, 0=None) also correspond to the map.
The Endangered Resources Program has developed avoidance measures and management guidelines for plants on the Natural Heritage Working List. These are a work in progress, and we welcome your suggestions and feedback. Sources used in developing this information can be found here.
These are specific actions designed to avoid "take" (mortality) of this species.
- Avoid known individual plant locations and conduct operations elsewhere when they are least likely to cause damage. Ideally, this would involve frozen, snow-covered ground. However, in areas of the state where frozen conditions are unreliable, very dry soils late in the growing season might be the best available alternative. Consult with a biologist, if needed.
- Avoid broadcast spraying of herbicides; use care with spot spraying.
- Avoid site preparation that heavily disturbs herbaceous ground layer and soil; these include bulldozing and furrowing, as well as grubbing and stump removal.
Management guidelines are additional considerations that may help maintain or enhance habitat for this species
- Maintain structural characteristics of old growth forests such as downed logs and other coarse woody debris.
- Maintain thick duff layer if possible; minimize spread of invasive species including earthworms.
- Survey for and control invasive plants prior to conducting timber operations, as these can be spread by vehicles and often respond vigorously to increased light; see forestry BMPs for invasive species.
Links to additional Nodding Pogonia information
Other links related to vascular plants (all exit the DNR website)
- Wisconsin Vascular Plants
- Freckmann Herbarium
- Atlas of Wisconsin Prairie and Savanna Flora - Wisconsin State Herbarium
- USDA - NRCS Plants Database
- USGS Midwestern Wetland Flora - field office guide to plant species
- Cofrin Center for Biodiversity Herbarium
- Intermountain Herbarium Grasses of North America
- Orchids of Wisconsin
Support for Wisconsin's rare plant information has been provided by the Division of Forestry, the Endangered Resources Fund and the Wisconsin Rare Plant Preservation Fund. To donate, visit the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin.