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Plant Details

Spiranthes longilabris

Giant Spiral Orchid, Long-lipped Ladies'-tresses, Ladies' Tresses

Scientific Name:

Spiranthes longilabris

Genus:

Spiranthes

Species Epithet:

longilabris

Common Name:

Giant Spiral Orchid, Long-lipped Ladies'-tresses, Ladies' Tresses

Plant Type

Herb/Wildflower

Life Cycle

Perennial

Plant Family

Orchidaceae (Orchid Family)

Native/Alien:

NC Native

Size:

1-3 ft.

Bloom Color(s):

White

Light:

Sun - 6 or more hours of sun per day, Part Shade - 2 to 6 hours of sun per day

Soil Moisture:

Moist, Wet

Bloom Time:

October, November, December

Growing Area:

Coastal Plain

Habitat Description:

Wet pine savannas. Rare in NC Coastal Plain. A southeastern Coastal Plan endemic

Leaf Arrangement:

Basal

Leaf Retention:

Deciduous

Leaf Type:

Leaves veined, not needle-like or scale-like

Leaf Form:

Simple

Life Cycle:

Perennial

Wildlife Value:

No known wildlife value

Landscape Value:

Suitable for home landscapes

State Rank:

S1: Critically imperiled (*Key)

Global Rank:

G3 - Vulnerable (*Key)

State Status:

E: Endangered (*Key)

Federal Status:

T - Threatened (*Key)

Notes:

North American Orchid Center states "Spiranthes longilabris is considered vulnerable and may be critically imperiled in some parts of its range where drainage of sites would eliminate this orchid. Competition from grasses, sedges and woody vegetation which develop in the absence of fire may also threaten this species."

Blooms in Hand

image

© David R. McAdoo

Closeup of Blooms

"Looks like the flying nun's hat"

image

© David R. McAdoo

Close up

image

David McAdoo

Blooms on one side

image

Tom Harville

Blooms with a half twist

image

Tom Harville

A one-sided inflorescence seen from the back

image

© John Henderson, Nov 08,2012, Croatan National Forest

Leafless stem

image

© John Henderson, Nov 08,2012, Croatan National Forest

Giant Spiral Orchid in its habitat

This Southeastern Coastal Plain endemic grows in wet pine savannas from southeast NC, south to southern Florida and west to eastern Texas.

image

© John Henderson, Nov 08,2012, Croatan National Forest

Links:

USDA PLANTS Database Record

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Flora of North America
North American Orchid Conservation Center


Bird-Friendly Native Plants



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