Yellow Fringed Orchid (Ciliaris)

The Yellow Fringed Orchid (Ciliaris) is generally described as a perennial forb/herb. This is native to the U.S. (United States) .

Uses of : Landscaping, Medicinal, Culinary, etc.

Ethnobotanic: The Cherokee and Seminoles as well as other Native American tribes in the Eastern United States used the yellow-fringed orchid for medicinal and other purposes. The roots were used to make infusions to treat diarrhea. The roots were also used to treat snakebites. A cold infusion of the root was taken to relieve headaches. A piece of the root was used on fishhooks to “make the fish bite better.” In Florida, it was known as “rattle snake’s master” and was used both internally and externally to treat snakebite.

General Characteristics

General: Orchid Family (Orchidaceae). This plant is a native, perennial herb. The upright stems will grow 30 cm to 1m tall. The roots are tuberous or fleshy. The plant has numerous lance-shaped leaves. The lower leaves are about 30 cm long, 3 to 6 cm wide, with smaller leaves toward the top. The plants have showy spikes (5 to 20 cm long) of loosely clustered flowers. The flowers grow in racemes, opening from bottom to top. The flowers can be bright yellow through apricot to deep orange. The lower petal or lip of the flower is linear-oblong (8 to 12 mm long, 2-3 m wide) with long ciliated fringe (12 to 16 mm long). The spurs are 20 to 33 mm long. Blooming time is variable, but usually from late June in the North to late September in the South.

Required Growing Conditions

For current distribution, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS Web site.

Habitat: The plants are native to sphagnum and sedge bogs, swamps, marshes, wet sandy barrens, thickets on borders of streams and ponds, moist woods, wet meadows, prairies, and in deep humus of upland forests in the Eastern United States and Canada.


This plant may be listed as threatened in your state. This rare plant is threatened by loss of habitat, harvesting, and changes in land management practices, such as fire suppression, in much of its native range. It is listed as threatened by many states and is probably locally extinct in Canada. It is also listed in Appendix II of the CITES database of threatened plants.

General Upkeep and Control

PLOC"American sycamore can be regenerated from natural seed sources, by planting, or by stump and root sprouting. On silvicultural biomass farms aimed at maximum fiber production, fertilization is usually necessary, especially with rotations shorter than 5 years. Sycamores in managed plantations interplanted with legumes or other nitrogen-fixing species were larger than control plants 6 years after establishment of the nitrogen fixers. Sycamore has good coppice regeneration potential, although it has been reported that trees died after two successive harvests. A high percentage of stumps sprout, regardless of stump size or time of harvest, although larger and heavier sprouts are produced from dormant season cuts (vs. growing season).

Significant diseases and insect problems occur in managed plantations and landscaping trees of American sycamore but are largely absent from natural stands. Important problems include anthracnose and eastern mistletoe (Phoradendron spp.).

Prescribed fire is not recommended for bottomland forests in which sycamore occurs. Bottomland fires usually move rapidly along the surface, consuming shrubs and herbs and usually killing saplings and seedlings of all species. Larger trees suffer bark wounds that create points of entry for rots, stains, and insects. Under extreme conditions, large trees may be killed outright. Fire also reduces soil organic layers, leading to site degradation. "

Plant Basics
General Type Forb/herb
Growth Duration Perennial
Plant Nativity Native to U.S.

Source: USDA, NRCS, PLANTS Database,
National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA