Scientific Name:

Tipularia discolor

Common Name:

Cranefly Orchid

Scientific Name Pronounciation:

tip-YOO-lar-ee-uh DIS-kol-or

Plant Type:


Plant Hardiness Zones:


Plant Hardiness Zone(s):

Usual Size:

4 in. (bloom stalk 12-24 in.) H x 4 in. W


Purplish green flowers arranged 20-30 along a stalk in late summer.

Bloom Time Notes:

Late summer


A single basal leaf that looks pleated, dull green, blotched with purple above, purplish beneath; appears in fall but withers and disappears at flowering time.


Fruits are parallel to stem; oval capsule containing many small seeds.


Natural Habitat:

Wet to dry places in hardwood and pine forests.


Bloom Time:

Sun or Shade:

Companion Plants:

Cultural Notes:

Cranefly Orchid (Tipularia discolor) is found in every county in Georgia; the best time to locate this orchid is during a stroll in the winter woods after trees shed their leaves and the orchid sends up its wrinkled leaf.  Thrives best in partial shade to shade; humus-rich damp soil, but is not especially particular about it.

Transplant tips: Roots are fleshy, attached to a solid corm forming a horizontal series of corms; don't let roots dry out until plant is established.


Other Common Names: Elfin Spur, Mottled Cranefly


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