Great Plains ladies’ tresses

(Spiranthes magnicamporum)

Conservation Status
Great Plains ladies’ tresses
 
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

N3N4 - Vulnerable to Apparently Secure

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
Wetland Indicator Status
     
  Great Plains

FAC - Facultative

     
  Midwest

FAC - Facultative

     
  Northcentral & Northeast

FACU - Facultative upland

     
           
 
Description
 
 

Great Plains ladies’ tresses is a 4¾ to 15 tall, erect, perennial forb that rises on s single stalk from a tight cluster of fleshy roots.

There are 2 or 3 basal leaves which are usually withered by the time the plant is in bloom. They are ascending, inversely lance-shaped to linear lance-shaped, 4 to 5½ long, and 5 16 to wide. The margins are untoothed.

The stems are erect, unbranched, and leafless except for a few scale-like, sheathing, typically overlapping bracts below the inflorescence.

The inflorescence is a pair of intertwined, tightly spiraling, ¾ to 2 long flower spikes at the top of the stem with 20 to 40 individual flowers. The flowers on each spike are arranged in spirals of 3 or 4 flowers per cycle of spiral. The spirals are not evident due to the intertwining of the two spikes. The spikes are light green and moderately hairy.

Each flower is subtended by a scale-like, egg-shaped to lance-shaped bract.

The flowers are about ½ long and abruptly nodding at the base. There are 3 white to ivory petals and 3 similar petal-like sepals. The upper 2 petals converge with but do not fuse with the upper sepal to form a hood over the united filaments and style (column). The tips of the upper petals and sepal curve upward slightly. The lower petal forms an egg-shaped lip that arches strongly downward. The central portion of the lip is yellowish and is not constricted near the middle. The lip is crisped at the tip. The lateral 2 sepals are linear- lance-shaped, slightly spreading, then recurving, often ascending above the flower, like a pair of cow’s horns. The margins of the lateral sepals are rolled inward. The flowers are almond-scented.

 
     
 

Height

 
 

4¾ to 15

 
     
 

Flower Color

 
 

White to ivory

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
  Sphinx ladies’ tresses (Spiranthes incurva) stem leaves are often present at flowering. The lateral 2 sepals are straight or slightly spreading, not recurving, not shaped like a pair of cow’s horns. The central portion of the lower lip is constricted toward the middle. The flowers not scented.  
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Dry to wet. Prairies, woods, fens, pastures.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Flowering

 
 

September to October

 
     
 
Use
 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 25, 28.

 
  1/29/2014      
         
 

Nativity

 
 

Native

 
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

 

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Liliopsida (monocots)  
 

Order

Asparagales (agaves, orchids, irises, and allies)  
 

Family

Orchidaceae (orchids)  
  Subfamily Orchidoideae  
  Tribe Cranichideae  
  Subtribe Spiranthinae  
 

Genus

Spiranthes (ladies’ tresses)  
  Species Complex Spiranthes cernua (nodding ladies’ tresses species complex)  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

Great Plains ladies’ tresses

Great Plains ladies’-tresses

Great Plains ladiestresses

Great Plains lady’s tresses

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Bract

Modified leaf at the base of a flower stalk, flower cluster, or inflorescence.

 

Column

The united filaments and style of an orchid. The structure formed by the united filaments of plants in the Mallow family.

 

Linear

Long, straight, and narrow, with more or less parallel sides, like a blade of grass.

 

Sepal

An outer floral leaf, usually green but sometimes colored, at the base of a flower.

 

Sheath

The lower part of the leaf that surrounds the stem.

       
Visitor Photos
   

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Dan W. Andree
       

Possibly a Great Plains Ladies-tresses...

  Great Plains ladies’ tresses    
       
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
   

Plant

  Great Plains ladies’ tresses   Great Plains ladies’ tresses
       
  Great Plains ladies’ tresses   Great Plains ladies’ tresses
       

Inflorescence

  Great Plains ladies’ tresses   Great Plains ladies’ tresses
       
  Great Plains ladies’ tresses   Great Plains ladies’ tresses
       

Flowers

  Great Plains ladies’ tresses    
       
       

 

Camera

     
Slideshows
   
  Spiranthes magnicamporum (Prairie Ladies-Tresses)
Allen Chartier
 
  Spiranthes magnicamporum (Prairie Ladies-Tresses)  
     
  Spiranthes magnicamporum GREAT PLAINS LADIES' TRESSES
Frank Mayfield
 
  Spiranthes magnicamporum GREAT PLAINS LADIES' TRESSES  
     
  Spiranthes magnicamporum
Joshua Mayer
 
  Spiranthes magnicamporum  
 
About

Great Plains Lady's Tresses

 
     

 

slideshow

       
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Dan W. Andree
9/7/2019

Location: Lee WPA, Rural Norman Co., Mn.

Great Plains ladies’ tresses


     
     
 
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