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Small Whorled Pogonias grow in a variety of woodland or forest habitats. Populations in Virginia grow in mixed deciduous and conifer forests, on gently sloping terrain. They emerge from two to three inches of deciduous leaf litter and at most sites grow in the company of Large Whorled Pogonia Orchids and Indian Cucumber root plants. There are only two locations in West Virginia where this plant has been found. The greatest threat is the cutting down of forest habitats for housing developments and golf courses.