Spiranthes lacera (Raf.) Raf. 1833

Photo by Timothy Choltco plant and flowers in situ in Center County PA.

S lacera var gracilis

Photo by Carl Luer


Common Name The Torn Spiranthes - Northern Slender Ladies Tresses

Flower Size 1/8" [3mm]

Found in the eastern US and southeastern Canada and south to northern Florida on road shoulders as well as in shady woods as a miniature to medium sized [inflorescence only] cold to cool growing terrestrial orchid with a bundle of fleshy, fusiform roots giving rise to a rosette of several, oval, dark green, veined leaves that arise in late fall or early spring and are very shortlived as they are often withered by flowering time which occurs in late spring in the south to fall in the north on an erect, terminal, slender, green, 6 to 20" [15 to 50 cm] long, many [40] flowered inflorescence with the faintly fragrant flowers either secund or spiralling around the scape.

Synonyms Gyrostachys beckii (Lindl.) B.C.Stone 1911; Gyrostachys gracilis (Bigelow) Kuntze 1891; Ibidium beckii (Lindl.) House 1906; Ibidium gracile (Bigelow) House 1905; *Neottia gracilis Bigelow 1824; Neottia lacera Raf. 1818; Neottia tortilis Pursh 1813; Spiranthes beckii Lindl. 1840; Spiranthes gracilis (Bigelow) Beck 1833; Spiranthes lacera var. gracilis (Bigelow) Luer 1975; Triorchos beckii (Lindl.) House 1920; Triorchis gracilis (Bigelow) Nieuwl. 1913

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Studies in the Family Orchidaceae Vol 1 Ames 1905 as S beckii; Studies in the Family Orchidaceae Vol 1 Ames 1905 as S gracilis; Die Orchideen Schlechter 1915 as Spiranthes gracilis; Encyclopedia of Cultivated Orchids Hawkes 1965 as S gracilis; The Native Orchids of Florida Luer 1972 as S gracilis drawing/photos fide; The Native Orchids of the United States and Canada Luer 1975 drawing/photos fide; AOS Bulletin vol 53 no 7 1984 photo fide; Schlechteriana Vol 4 No 4 1993; Schlechteriana Vol 4 No 4 1993 as Spiranthes gracilis; AOS Bulletin Vol 77 No 10 2008 photo fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 84 #3 2015 photo fide;