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, 4"-11" tall forb; stems with 2-3 scale-like leaves between the main leaves and the inflorescence
Leaves: basal, lance-like to oblong, persisting through and past flowering
Flowers: white, 6-parted, lip 1/4" long, smooth, bright yellow; inflorescence a 3/4"-2 3/4" dense, spike-like spiral (raceme) of usually 3 stalks with 3-4 flowers per cycle; blooms June-July, earliest blooming of this genus
Habitat: damp; woods, shores of large rivers, fens, calcareous (hard water) seeps
Conservation Status: Special Concern