Photographer: Paul Drobot
Spiranthes cernua (L.) Rich.
Spiranthes: from the Greek speira, "spiral," and anthos, "flower," referring to the coiled or spiral character of the inflorescence, and hence the common nameladies tresses"
cernua: Latin for "nodding"
|Plant: ||erect, perennial, 4"-36" tall forb; single stem with 3-8 scale-like leaves between the main leaves and the inflorescence|
|Flower: ||white (rarely yellowish), 6-parted, slightly nodding only at the base, sepals not connected, side sepals either straight or only slightly spreading; 1/3" long lip usually with wavy edges; inflorescence a 3/4"-7" dense, spike-like, tight spiral (raceme) of several stalks with 3 to 4 stalked flowers per cycle; blooms July-Sept.|
|Leaf:||basal, narrowly lance-like, 4"-24" long with pointed tips, clasping, persistent when blooming, hairy leaf axils|
|Habitat: ||sun; moist; bogs, prairies, fields, ditches; in slightly acidic, sandy soil|