Spiranthes orchid from Kelley in SC

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found this in my front yard. It is in full sun and shaded areas. Can you identify?

Hi Kelley,

this is a desirable wildflower and you are lucky to have it. It is an orchid called Ladies’-tresses orchid. There are two possibilities because most species bloom in the Autumn. The spring flowered ones are Spiranthes praecox and Spiranthes vernalis.  I don’t know, at this stage, which one you have. The individual flowers are tiny and white but have a typical orchid shape when magnified. The tuberous roots are distinctive. The seeds are so tiny they are blown around in the wind and so the plant can appear almost anywhere that conditions are favorable.


Dr. Steven Hill, Botanist, SCNPS

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