Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: 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

One vendor has this plant for sale.

7 members have or want this plant for trade.


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:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings
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

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There are a total of 11 photos.
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1 positive
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral raisedbedbob 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.

Neutral tcfromky 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.

Positive Toxicodendron 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.


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

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