Unfortunately, while the plants were still in flower, they were just a bit past their prime. While Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid can be over 3 feet tall, it can still be somewhat difficult to spot, especially when it is growing with so many other white-flowering species, including Wild Quinine (Parthenium integrifolium), Annual Fleabane (Erigeron annuus), and White Wild Indigo (Baptisia alba v. macrophylla). The plants that we saw were in less dense, lower growing prairie vegetation than was present in other parts of the prairie.
While its geographical range is centered in the Great Lakes states and provinces, Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid is also known from North Dakota, Iowa, Missouri, Oklahoma, Virginia, and Maine. It is very rare throughout most of its range. A single plant can live up to 30 years, which is a long time for members of this genus.