Spiranthes lacera var. gracilis (Bigelow) Luer

Southern Slender Ladies'-tresses

Habitat: Xeric to mesic meadows, fields, woodlands, and roadsides.

Range: New Brunswick, south to Florida, west to Texas, north to Minnesota ans Saskatchewan.

Aids to Identification: Spiranthes lacera var. gracilis has a crowded inflorescence with several spirals. The sepals and lateral petals form a tube 1.5-2.5 mm in diameter. The apex of the labellum has a thin, white border and the leaves are senesced prior to anthesis. The rachis of the inflorescence is glabrous. The flowers of Spiranthes lucida appear late-June to mid-July, earlier than most other species of Spiranthes.

Ecological characteristics: None noted.

Phenology: Flowers August. Ladies-tresses are leafy stemmed orchids with small, mostly white, flowers borne in spiralled racemes.

Family: Orchidaceae

Synonyms: Ibidium gracile (Bigelow) House; Spiranthes gracilis (Bigelow) Beck. Hybrids with S. romanzoffiana occur in Maine.

Reason(s) for rarity: Near northern limit of range.