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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains

69. Orchidaceae, the Orchid Family

5. Spiranthes Rich. -- Ladie's-tresses

3. Spiranthes romanzoffiana Cham. -- Hooded ladies'-tresses


Plants 1-3 dm tall, almost entirely glabrous; roots long and fleshy. Leaves usually green at flowering time, the basal leaves ascending, linear to narrowly oblong, 8-15 cm long, 2-9 mm wide, blunt, the cauline leaves bractlike. Spike with 1-3(4) rows of flowers, 3-8 cm long, the bracts ovate-lanceolate, 10-20 mm long, acuminate. Flowers white or cream-colored; perianth segments only slightly glandular-pubescent on the outside, if at all; sepals and the lateral petals alike, ovate-lanceolate, all connivent to form a hood 7-12 mm long, the lateral sepals with only the tips free; lip ovate when flattened, with obscure thickenings at the base which do not project backward; sharply curved downward, recurved at the erose tip, about as long as the hood. Late Jul--Aug. Springs, fens, bogs and seepage areas; rare, from scattered locations in the region; (Labr. and Newf. to AK, s to PA, MI, IA, NM, AZ and CA; also n Ireland and w Scotland).
GIF- Distribution Map

Map key


Previous Section -- Spiranthes magnicamporum Sheviak -- Great Plains ladies'-tresses
Return to Family -- Orchidaceae - The Orchid Family
Next Section -- Spiranthes vernalis Engelm. & A. Gray -- Spring ladies'-tresses

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