North Carolina Wildflowers, Shrubs, & Trees

by Jeffrey S. Pippen | Back to Jeff's Plant Page | Jeff's Nature Pages


Orchidaceae > Spiranthes

Nodding Ladies' Tresses (Spiranthes cernua) Nodding Ladies' Tresses (Spiranthes cernua)
Brunswick Co., NC
4 Oct 2008

Leaves are present during flowering.

Nodding Ladies' Tresses (Spiranthes cernua) Nodding Ladies' Tresses (Spiranthes cernua)
Brunswick Co., NC
4 Oct 2008

Grows statewide (generally uncommon) in acidic wet habitats including bogs, swamps, ditches, etc.

Nodding Ladies' Tresses (Spiranthes cernua) Nodding Ladies' Tresses (Spiranthes cernua)
Brunswick Co., NC
4 Oct 2008

Nodding Ladies' Tresses have larger flowers than other species of Spiranthes.

Nodding Ladies' Tresses (Spiranthes cernua) Nodding Ladies' Tresses (Spiranthes cernua)
Brunswick Co., NC
4 Oct 2008


Northern Slender Ladies' Tresses (Spiranthes lacera var. gracilis) Northern Slender Ladies' Tresses (Spiranthes lacera var. gracilis)
Thin soils over granite outcrop in Alexander Co., NC
3 July 2009

Uncommon in North Carolina but statewide and found in a variety of open habitats.

Northern Slender Ladies' Tresses (Spiranthes lacera var. gracilis) Northern Slender Ladies' Tresses (Spiranthes lacera var. gracilis)
Thin soils over granite outcrop in Alexander Co., NC
3 July 2009

Note glandular hairs on the flower stalk and the centrally green portion of the flower's lip.

Northern Slender Ladies' Tresses (Spiranthes lacera var. gracilis) Northern Slender Ladies' Tresses (Spiranthes lacera var. gracilis)
Thin soils over granite outcrop in Alexander Co., NC
3 July 2009

Developing fruits (capsules).

Northern Slender Ladies' Tresses (Spiranthes lacera var. gracilis) Northern Slender Ladies' Tresses (Spiranthes lacera var. gracilis)
Thin soils over granite outcrop in Alexander Co., NC
3 July 2009

Note the spiral is open, not tight.


Spirathes Lacelip Ladies' Tresses (Spirathes laciniata)
Carolina Beach State Park, New Hanover Co., NC
18 May 2008

Spirathes Lacelip Ladies' Tresses (Spirathes laciniata)
Carolina Beach State Park, New Hanover Co., NC
18 May 2008

Note gland-tipped hairs on inflorescence.

Spirathes Lacelip Ladies' Tresses (Spirathes laciniata)?
Carolina Beach State Park, New Hanover Co., NC
18 May 2008

Fragrant Ladies' Tresses, Marsh Ladies' Tresses (Spiranthes odorata) Fragrant Ladies' Tresses, Marsh Ladies' Tresses (Spiranthes odorata)
Marsh in Currituck Co., NC
6 Nov 2009

This uncommon, large Spiranthes with large flowers blooms late in the season and grows in colonies in marshy habitats in the NC coastal plain.

Fragrant Ladies' Tresses, Marsh Ladies' Tresses (Spiranthes odorata) Fragrant Ladies' Tresses, Marsh Ladies' Tresses (Spiranthes odorata)
Marsh in Currituck Co., NC
6 Nov 2009

Fragrant Ladies' Tresses, Marsh Ladies' Tresses (Spiranthes odorata) Fragrant Ladies' Tresses, Marsh Ladies' Tresses (Spiranthes odorata)
Marsh in Currituck Co., NC
6 Nov 2009

Fragrant Ladies' Tresses, Marsh Ladies' Tresses (Spiranthes odorata) Fragrant Ladies' Tresses, Marsh Ladies' Tresses (Spiranthes odorata)
Marsh in Currituck Co., NC
6 Nov 2009

Leaves continue to be present at flowering.

Fragrant Ladies' Tresses, Marsh Ladies' Tresses (Spiranthes odorata) Fragrant Ladies' Tresses, Marsh Ladies' Tresses (Spiranthes odorata)
Marsh in Currituck Co., NC
6 Nov 2009


Grass-leaved Ladies' Tresses, Greenvein Ladies' Tresses (Spiranthes praecox) Grass-leaved Ladies' Tresses, Greenvein Ladies' Tresses (Spiranthes praecox)
Tyrrell Co., NC
1 June 2007

Endemic to the southeastern coastal plain, Grass-leaved Ladies' Tresses in uncommon in wet habitats in the eastern half of North Carolina.

Grass-leaved Ladies' Tresses, Greenvein Ladies' Tresses (Spiranthes praecox) Grass-leaved Ladies' Tresses, Greenvein Ladies' Tresses (Spiranthes praecox)
Tyrrell Co., NC
1 June 2007

Grass-leaved Ladies' Tresses, Greenvein Ladies' Tresses (Spiranthes praecox) Grass-leaved Ladies' Tresses, Greenvein Ladies' Tresses (Spiranthes praecox)
Tyrrell Co., NC
1 June 2007

Note diverging green veins in the lip of the white flowers.

Grass-leaved Ladies' Tresses, Greenvein Ladies' Tresses (Spiranthes praecox) Grass-leaved Ladies' Tresses, Greenvein Ladies' Tresses (Spiranthes praecox)
Tyrrell Co., NC
1 June 2007



Annotated habitat and distribution information listed above is from Radford, Ahles, & Bell. 1968. Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas. UNC Press; and from personal observations and discussions with Will Cook, Harry LeGrand, and Bob Wilbur. Common names from personal experience and supplemented by the following resources USDA plants website, Flora of the Carolinas, Virginia, and Georgia, and NatureServe.


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Created on Feb 11, 2008 | jeffpippen9@gmail.com