Spiranthes romanzoffiana (Hooded Ladies'-tresses)

Plant Info
Also known as:
Genus:Spiranthes
Family:Orchidaceae (Orchid)
Life cycle:perennial
Origin:native
Habitat:sun; wet meadows, fens, coniferous swamps
Bloom season:July - August
Plant height:5 to 18 inches
Wetland Indicator Status:GP: OBL MW: OBL NCNE: OBL
MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

Pick an image for a larger view. See the glossary for icon descriptions.

Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: irregular Cluster type: spike

[photo of flowers] Flowers are closely intertwined in 3 or 4 rows that spiral up a 1 to 5 inch spike with up to 45 blossoms, typically 3 flowers in a cycle of the spiral. The petals and sepals are white with a greenish to yellowish throat, up to ½ inch long, opening out in a trumpet appearance. The end of the lower lip unfurls down like a wavy tongue, a bit fiddle-shaped and ruffled at the tip half. 2 lance shaped sepals, lateral and upper petals come together but are not fused, forming a broad tubular hood above, the petal and sepal tips turned up.

Leaves and stems: Leaf attachment: alternate Leaf attachment: basal Leaf type: simple

[photo of leaves] Leaves are long and slender, the lower up to up to 9 inches long, 1/3 inch wide, becoming short-bladed sheathes up the stem, the uppermost greatly reduced and bract-like. The stem is stiffly erect.

Notes:

Found in northern Minnesota's vast northern swamps and wetlands, Hooded Ladies'-tresses populations are widely scattered and typically few in numbers. There are 5 species of Spiranthes in Minnesota and some can be a challenge to ID. The upper and lateral petals and sepals of S. romanzoffiana appear to be fused and form a broader hood than either Nodding Ladies'-tresses (S. cernua) or Great Plains Ladies'-tresses (S. magnicamporum). The latter species also typically has no remaining basal leaves by flowering time.

Please visit our sponsors

  • Minnesota Native Plant Society

Where to buy native seed and plants ↓

Map of native plant purveyors in the upper midwest

  • Itasca Ladyslipper Farm - Native orchids, container grown
  • Prairie Restorations - Bringing people together with the land
  • Shop for native seeds and plants at PrairieMoon.com!
  • Shooting Star Native Seeds - Native Prairie Grass and Wildflower Seeds
  • Morning Sky Greenery - Native Prairie Plants

More photos

Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Hubbard County.

Comments

Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Post a comment

Note: All comments are moderated before posting to keep the riff-raff out. An email address is required, but will not be posted—it will only be used for information exchange between the 2 of us (if needed) and will never be given to a 3rd party without your express permission.

For info on subjects other than plant identification (gardening, invasive species control, edible plants, etc.), please check the links and invasive species pages for additional resources.



(required)




Note: Comments or information about plants outside of Minnesota and neighboring states may not be posted because Id like to keep the focus of this web site centered on Minnesota. Thanks for your understanding.