This is a rare perennial that can be found in low moist meadows and open woods. It grows from a tuberous root with a stem that is twelve to thirty-two inches tall. It has two to four lanceolate leaves that are glossy-green and lance-shaped. The leaves are about eight inches long below, but much shorter above.
The 30 to 80 flowers are borne in a showy raceme at the top of the stem. The lip is slightly concave, the spur is small and comparatively inconspicuous. The color of the mature plant is yellow to orange. It is perhaps a smaller and more refined version of the Yellow Fringed Orchid.
It is a member of the Orchid Family, Orchidaceae. Its scientific name, Platanthera comes from the Greek platys meaning wide or broad; and anthera anther, referring to the unusually wide anther.