Plant Profiles

Small Whorled Pogonia

Common Name: Small Whorled Pogonia

Scientific Name: Isotria medeoloides

Origin: Eastern United States

Family: Orchidaceae

Bloom time: April - May

The small whorled pogonia (Isotria medeoloides) is a diminutive orchid species that is federally listed as ‘threatened’. It is sparsely distributed throughout eastern North America, from north Georgia up to Maine. The Garden’s most recent surveys in Georgia confirm just 10 extant populations, which occur mostly in mixed deciduous and evergreen forests of the southern Appalachians.

In 2011, the Garden was contracted by the United States Forest Service to conduct ecological studies to provide management recommendations for small whorled pogonia. Research staff have since visited wild populations every spring to monitor plant numbers and overall health. The Garden continues to help USFS secure the future of this species, by providing data-driven habitat management recommendations in the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest.