Etymology: 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"
Plants: erect, perennial, 6"-12" tall forb; stems with 3-4 scale-like leaves between the main leaves and the inflorescence
Leaves: 2 or 3 basal leaves withering when blooming, hairy leaf axils
Flowers: white, 6-parted, almond scented; sepals not connected, widely spreading curling over the top of the flower resembling "cow's horns;" lip smooth, to 1/2" long, with a pale yellow center; inflorescence a 3/4"- 2 1/3" dense, spike-like, tight spiral (raceme) of 3-4 stalks; blooms Sept.-Oct.
Habitat: dry to wet; woods, fens pastures, prairies; in less acidic soil
Conservation Status: Native
Flora of North America: Flora of North America Floristic Rating: Coefficient of Conservatism = 8, Wetland Indicator = UPL Atlas of the Wisconsin Prairie and Savanna Flora: by T.S. Cochrane & H.H. Iltis: habitat, distribution infomation / flowering and fruiting times USDA Plants Database: Federal Distribution and detailed information including photos