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, 8"-16" tall forb; stems with 3 or 4 scale-like leaves between the main leaves and the inflorescence
Leaves: leaf axils hairy, basal leaves lance-like to oblong, persistent when blooming
Flowers: yellowish to greenish-white, 6-parted, stocky, obviously nodding; sepals not connected, side sepals slightly spreading; lip less than 1/3" long, smooth, fleshy, slightly wavy; inflorescence a 3/4"-6 1/4" spike-like, loose spiral (raceme) of several stalks with usually 5 or more stalked flowers per cycle; blooms Aug.-Sept.
Habitat: dry to moist; in sandy, acidic, sterile soil
Conservation Status: Native
Flora of North America: Flora of North America Floristic Rating: Coefficient of Conservatism = 8 USDA Plants Database: Federal Distribution and detailed information including photos