Species Orchid, Adam-and-Eve-Root Orchid, Putty Root, Puttyroot, Aplectrum

Aplectrum hyemale

Family: Orchidaceae (or-kid-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Aplectrum (a-PLEK-trum) (Info)
Species: hyemale (hy-EH-may-lee) (Info)
Synonym:Aplectra elatior
Synonym:Aplectrum shortii
Synonym:Aplectrum spicatum
Synonym:Corallorhiza hyemalis
Synonym:Cymbidium hyemale



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


15-18 in. (38-45 cm)


USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

Sun Exposure:

Partial to Full Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Pale Yellow


White/Near White


Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer



Other details:

This plant may be considered a protected species; check before digging or gathering seeds

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Decatur, Georgia

Crothersville, Indiana

Lawrenceburg, Kentucky

Gwynn Oak, Maryland

Valley Lee, Maryland

Lathrop, Missouri

Piedmont, Missouri

Clyde, North Carolina

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Sylva, North Carolina

Winston Salem, North Carolina

Glouster, Ohio

Viola, Tennessee

Irvington, Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Feb 3, 2006, raisedbedbob from Walkerton, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

Putty Root Orchid is common in my woods, but I have yet to see a bloom. Based on the information posted here, maybe I'll see one yet.


On Oct 16, 2004, tcfromky from Mercer, PA (Zone 5a) wrote:

The scientific name tells you something about the plant. The generic name Aplectrum comes from the Latin, A (without) and plectron (spur), meaning that the flowers have no spurs. The specific epithet or second word, hymale, means Winter and refers to the fact that this Orchid has a solitary leaf that persists all Winter. This leaf can be up to 10" long and 3" wide with beautiful parallel silver veining. In the Spring, the leaf vanishes and a 12"-18" pencil thick stem of greenish-yellow-purplish Orchid flowers appears.


On Jul 12, 2003, Toxicodendron from Piedmont, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:

Native orchid in my region. Puts forth a single, crinkled leaf in fall, with white stripes on it that persists into spring. After the leaf dwindles and disappears, the flower stalks come up (about 12" tall). Blooms in early May here. We have acid soil, and it prefers wet loamy or sandy areas along creeks and rivers, in the shade.