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Published In: Orchidaceae 2: 258. 1908. (Orchidaceae) Name publication detailView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Status: Native


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3. Spiranthes lucida (H.H. Eaton) Ames (shining ladies’ tresses, yellow‑lipped ladies’ tresses)

Pl. 118 c, d; Map 483

Flowering stems 10–38 cm long, glabrous or with very sparse glandular hairs in the inflorescence. Basal leaves 3–5, present at flowering time, 3–11 cm long, oblanceolate to lanceolate, glabrous. Flowers appearing as though in 2 or more ranks along the flowering stems. Sepals and lateral petals 4.0–5.5 mm long, white, the lateral sepals fused in the basal 0.5–1.0 mm, only slightly spreading, oriented parallel to the rest of the perianth. Lip 4–6 mm long, oblong, the margins somewhat irregular toward the tip, white with an orangish yellow to yellow area in the middle of the inner surface. Column 3 mm long, green. 2n=44. May–June.

Uncommon in the Ozark and Ozark Border Divisions (northeastern U.S. south to Arkansas and Tennessee). Restricted to fens and calcareous seeps along creeks.

This is the earliest flowering species of Spiranthes in Missouri. The bright yellow area on the lip of the flower and the broad, shiny leaves serve to distinguish this attractive orchid from other ladies’ tresses growing in the state.



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