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Uses

Edible uses

Notes

Tuber - cooked[1][2][3]. It is a source of 'salep', a fine white to yellowish-white powder that is obtained by drying the tuber and grinding it into a powder[4][5][3][6]. Salep is a starch-like substance with a sweetish taste and a faint somewhat unpleasant smell[7]. It is said to be very nutritious and is made into a drink or can be added to cereals and used in making bread etc[8][9][6]. One ounce of salep is said to be enough to sustain a person for a day[9][10].

Material uses

There are no material uses listed for Platanthera bifolia.

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Salep (see above for more details) is very nutritive and demulcent[7]. It has been used as a diet of special value for children and convalescents, being boiled with water, flavoured and prepared in the same way as arrowroot[7]. Rich in mucilage, it forms a soothing and demulcent jelly that is used in the treatment of irritations of the gastro-intestinal canal[7]. One part of salep to fifty parts of water is sufficient to make a jelly[7]. The tuber, from which salep is prepared, should be harvested as the plant dies down after flowering and setting seed[7].

Unknown part

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - surface sow, preferably as soon as it is ripe, in the greenhouse and do not allow the compost to dry out. The seed of this species is extremely simple, it has a minute embryo surrounded by a single layer of protective cells. It contains very little food reserves and depends upon a symbiotic relationship with a species of soil-dwelling fungus. The fungal hyphae invade the seed and enter the cells of the embryo. The orchid soon begins to digest the fungal tissue and this acts as a food supply for the plant until it is able to obtain nutrients from decaying material in the soil[11]. It is best to use some of the soil that is growing around established plants in order to introduce the fungus, or to sow the seed around a plant of the same species and allow the seedlings to grow on until they are large enough to move. Division in autumn. Make sure that you keep plenty of soil with each plant. It is also said to be possible to transplant orchids after they have flowered but whilst they are still in leaf.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Platanthera bifolia. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Easily grown in a sunny position in a moist loam enriched with leaf mould[12]. Flourishes in almost any soil and situation[13][12]. Prefers a moderately shady and well-drained though damp position[13].

Orchids are, in general, shallow-rooting plants of well-drained low-fertility soils. Their symbiotic relationship with a fungus in the soil allows them to obtain sufficient nutrients and be able to compete successfully with other plants. They are very sensitive to the addition of fertilizers or fungicides since these can harm the symbiotic fungus and thus kill the orchid[14]. The flowers diffuse a most seductive perfume at night and are pollinated by the night hawk moth[15].

Hybridizes freely with several species of the genus Orchis[12].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Platanthera bifolia. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Platanthera bifolia.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Platanthera bifolia
Genus
Platanthera
Family
Orchidaceae
Imported References
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
6
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
light shade
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    ?
    Herbaceous or Woody
    ?
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    ?
    Mature Size
    Fertility
    ?
    Pollinators
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type

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    "image:Platanthera bifolia20090612 006-0.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

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    References

    1. ? 1.01.1 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
    2. ? 2.02.1 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.13.2 Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3874292169 (1984-00-00)
    4. ? 4.04.1 Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (1972-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.1 Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World. Keigaku Publishing (1976-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.16.2 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.17.27.37.47.57.67.7 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
    8. ? 8.08.1 Mabey. R. Food for Free. Collins ISBN 0-00-219060-5 (1974-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.19.2 Polunin. O. Flowers of Europe - A Field Guide. Oxford University Press ISBN 0192176218 (1969-00-00)
    10. ? 10.010.1 Johnson. C. P. The Useful Plants of Great Britain. ()
    11. ? 11.011.1 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    12. ? 12.012.112.2 Grey. C. H. Hardy Bulbs. Williams & Norgate. (1938-00-00)
    13. ? 13.013.1 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    14. ? Cribb. P. & Bailes. C. Hardy Orchids. Orchids for the Garden and Frost-free Greenhouse. Christopher Helm. London. ISBN 0 7470 0416 1 (1989-00-00)
    15. ? Genders. R. Scented Flora of the World. Robert Hale. London. ISBN 0-7090-5440-8 (1994-00-00)
    16. ? Clapham, Tootin and Warburg. Flora of the British Isles. Cambridge University Press (1962-00-00)

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