Spranthes Orchid, was End of Season, was Bulbs for a, etc.

Joe jshaw@opuntiads.com
Sat, 17 Nov 2007 19:09:20 PST
Hi Gang,

I've lost count of when these little guys bloom.  they are blooming now, but 
I seem to recall them blooming in mid-summer too.  If I don't write it down 
I forget dates and other details; perhaps the summer bloomer is another 

Spiranthes species are commonly encountered in this part of the Gulf Coast, 
but I don't know how to tell them apart.  The small orchid is also called 
Ladies Tresses, or spiral flower.  They seem to be most numerous at the 
edges of forests or around homes that have been dropped into semi-wild 
areas.  Sometimes I find them just in the woods, but they seem to like the 
edges of woods or roadsides, banks, and berms along wild areas.  My soil is 
acid, sandy loam, and sometimes flooded; the small Sabal palm grows locally. 
So, whatever is blooming now is a species that will grow in seasonally wet 

The flowers are small and mostly whitish, but they may have a tinge of green 
or even beighe.  Though small (each bloom can be 3/8 long) they are typical 
orchid flowers.  I guess they grow from a rhizome or a tuber, but I've never 
disturbed one to find out about the below ground parts.  The local plants 
only reach 6-8 inches in flower (sometimes 4 inches), with dozens of 
individual flowers crowded onto a single stem.

LINK:  Spiranthes cernua in Flora of North Amercia (online, efloras.com)

LINK:  Navasota Ladies Tresses (interesting Web article)

LINK:  Spiranthes lacera (nice photos)


Conroe TX
It was a bit cool this week, but is warm and humid now (not hot).

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