Spiranthes vernalis Engelm. & A.Gray 1845

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Closer Still

Photo by Danny Lentz Copyright

Plant in situ northern Florida

Closer View of flowers in situ northern Florida

Photos by Ian Wilhite Copyright


Common Name or Meaning The Spring-Blooming Spiranthes - The Spring Ladies Tresses Orchid

Flower Size .22 to .35" [6 to 9 mm]

Found in eastern and southern USA and south to Mexico and Guatemala as well as the Bahamas at elevations up to 2000 meters as a small to medium sized, cool to cold growing terrestrial orchid with basal then up the stem, usually ascending, linear to narrowly lanceolate, acuminate, often strongly keeled to semiterete leaves that blooms in the late winter and early spring on a terminal, slender to stout, pubescent above, 7 to 36" [17.5 to 90 cm] long, densely many flowered inflorescence carrying usually fragrant flowers that spiral around the rachis .

Synonyms Gyrostachys ensifolia (Rchb.f.) Kuntze 1891; Gyrostachys reverchonii Small 1898; Grostachys vernalis (Engelm. & A.Gray) Kuntze 1891; Ibidium vernalis (Engelm. & A. Gray) House 1905; Spiranthes ensifolia Rchb.f. 1856; Spiranthes graminea var. praecox Britton, Sterns & Poggenb. 1888; Spiranthes reverchonii (Small) K.Schum. 898; iorchis vernalis (Engelm. & A.Gray) House 1920

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Studies in the Family Orchidaceae Vol 1 Ames 1905; Die Orchideen Schlechter 1915; Encyclopedia of Cultivated Orchids Hawkes 1965; The Native Orchids of Florida Luer 1972 drawing/photos fide; The Native Orchids of the United States and Canada Luer 1975 drawing/photos fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 53 No 1 1984 photo fide; AOS Bulletin vol 53 no 7 1984 photo fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 54 No 3 1985 photo fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 55 NO 3 1986 photo; Fairchild Tropical Garden Bulletin Vol 47 No 2 1992 photo; Schlechteriana Vol 4 No 4 1993; AOS Bulletin Vol 73 No 7 2004 photo fide; Wild Orchids of The Southeastern US north of Pennisular Florida PM Brown 2004 photo/drawing fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 77 no 1 2008 photo fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 84 #3 2015 photo fide; Orchid Genera and Species in Guatemala Archila, Szlachchetko, Chiron, Lipinska, Mystkowska and Bertolini 2018