Platanthera micrantha 

Scope: Global & Europe
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Liliopsida Asparagales Orchidaceae

Scientific Name: Platanthera micrantha (Hochst. ex Seub.) Schltr.
Habenaria longibracteata Hochst.
Habenaria micrantha Hochst.
Platanthera azorica Schltr.
Platanthera micrantha (Hochst.) Schltr. subsp. longibracteata (Hochst.) Soó
Taxonomic Source(s): WCSP. 2017. World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Available at:

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(i,iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2011-03-10
Assessor(s): Rankou, H.
Reviewer(s): Fay, M. & Bilz, M.
Platanthera micrantha is local and rather rare with a small distribution area. The trend of the population is decreasing due to numerous threats and the populations are severely fragmented as the habitat is being lost in between species sites. The extent of occurrence is only 2,346 km² and there are less than five locations. The species is threatened by the destruction of the habitat to create pastures, road construction, invasive plants, tourism and plant collection. Therefore, Platanthera micrantha is assessed as Endangered.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Platanthera micrantha is endemic to the Azores. The species is absent from Gracioso. It can be found from 200 m to 1,400 m altitude and the extent of occurrence is about 2,346 km² (Delforge 1995, Haggar et al. 1989, Schäfer 2005, The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew 2010).

Countries occurrence:
Portugal (Azores)
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):200
Upper elevation limit (metres):1400
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]


Platanthera micrantha is local and rather rare. The population is estimated between 50,000-70,000 individuals. The trend of the population is decreasing due to numerous threats and the populations are severely fragmented as the habitat is being lost in between species sites. (Delforge 1995, Haggar et al. 1989, Schäfer 2005).

Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

Platanthera micrantha is found in specific habitats including volcanic craters, juniper rainforest and amongst Sphagnum in herbaceous maquis with the heather Erica azorica. It prefers damp and acidic substrates and grows in full sunlight to mid-shade. It flowers between May and June (Delforge 1995, Haggar et al. 1989, Schäfer 2005).


Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade:

There are no known uses.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

The habitats of Platanthera micrantha have been drastically reduced in the past and the stands of temperate juniper rainforest are still being destroyed to create pastures and construct new roads in the central regions of the islands. The low altitude habitats on all of the islands are rapidly invaded by exotic plant species like the Himalayan Hedychium gardnerianum, the Australian Pittosporum undulatum, and the American Lantana camara, an important threat to native flora and vegetation. Further threats are posed by deforestation, tourism and plant collection (Delforge 1995, Haggar et al. 1989, Schäfer 2005).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

All orchid species are included under Annex B of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

The following actions are recommended to protect Platanthera micrantha:

  • Protection of the habitat from ploughing, agricultural use and infrastructure expansion.
  • Invasive species control and eradication.
  • Fencing the vulnerable sites.
  • Sympathetic management of isolated populations.
  • Raise public awareness.
  • Protection of the living individuals through legislation which bans the species from being picked or dug up.
  • Ex situ conservation: Artificial propagation, re-introduction, seed collections.
  • Monitoring and surveillance of the existing populations and sites.
  • Estimate the population size and study their dynamics.
(Delforge 1995, Haggar et al. 1989, Schäfer 2005).


Citation: Rankou, H. 2011. Platanthera micrantha. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T175973A7159797. . Downloaded on 24 September 2018.
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