Alaska Rein-orchid – Piperia unalascensis

Orchid Family – Orchidaceae

Actual flower size: ¼ inch across

Actual flower size: ¼ inch across

Alaska Rein-orchid is also called Short-spurred Rein-orchid Alaska Piperia or Alaska Haberaria. Former Latin names are Platanthera or Habenaria unalascensis.

Plant Description: Alaska Rein-orchid is usually 12 to 18 inches tall, but in rich, moist soil it can grow up to 3 feet tall. The 1 to 4 basal leaves are 3 to 6 inches long, oval or lanceolate, and broadest near the tip. They whither before flowering time. The flowers are greenish, but sometimes yellowish-white and alternate up the leafless stem in a loose to dense spike. There are often several plants in a group.

Flower Description: The 3 upper tepals are about .2 inches long and point upward or forward. The 3 lower tepals are wider than the upper tepals and hang down and do not spread widely. The spur, varying from nearly as long as the lip to more than twice as long, extends backwards toward the stem, but does not cross it.

Ecology: Alaska Rein-orchid grows in dry to moist coniferous forests at low to middle elevations. It is most often seen in places where it has become dry in the summer e.g. on rock slopes with dried up mosses.


  • Alaska Rein-orchid is not fragrant.
  • See note about Rein-Orchids and Bog-Orchids on Orchid Family page.


Alaska Rein-Orchid Photo Gallery

Actual flower size: ¼ inch across

Photo information: #4512 was taken on July 1, 2004 on the Red Top Trail, Hwy 97, Mineral Springs, WA. The other photos were all taken on June 9, 2012 on the Ingall’s Creek Trail, Hwy 97, Blewett Pass, WA.