Spiranthes lacera (Raf.) Raf.

Slender Ladies' Tresses

Spiranthes lacera plant

Family - Orchidaceae

Stems - No info yet.

Leaves - No info yet.

Inflorescence - No info yet.

Spiranthes lacera inflorescence

Flowers - No info yet.

Spiranthes lacera flower

Spiranthes lacera flower

Flowering - July - October.

Habitat - Dry upland forests, upper slopes of bluffs, dry upland prairies, old fields, disturbed sites. Mostly on acidic substrates in dry cherty soils.

Origin - Native to U.S.

Other info. - This small species can be found mainly in the southern half of Missouri but is also found in a handful of counties north of the Missouri River. The plant can be identified by its fascicle of tuberous roots, its spirally coiled flowers, and its corollas - which have a green spot in the center of the lip.
Another species, Spiranthes tuberosa Raf., is similar but has smaller flowers (which have no green spot on the lip) and only one or two tuberous roots.
George Yatskievych write that S. lacera is probably the most tolerant orchid in Missouri with respect to habitat selection. It occurs in more disturbed and waste areas than any other orchid species in the state.

Photographs taken in Brown Summit, NC., 8-6-02.