Western Prairie Fringed Orchid
A stout, erect plant 1-4 feet tall that can remain dormant in the soil during drought periods. Blooms mid-June through early July. Flowers are creamy to greenish white. Each flower has a hood-shaped petal with 3 deeply fringed lobes and a long nectar spur in back. The blossoms occur in showy clusters at the top of each plant. Leaves 2–5, elongated, keeled, along an angular stem.
Related Missouri species: The eastern prairie fringed orchid is very similar to the western, and at one time they were considered a single species. The eastern prairie fringed orchid has rounded stems and smaller flowers than the western species. It has been known from the eastern half of the state. It is also a federally threatened species. Another similar species is ragged orchid, which is smaller, has greener flowers, a narrower flower spike, and a shorter nectar spur.