Plant types and subtypes: Perennials, Ground Orchids
Light Requirements: part-sun, part-shade
Water Use: medium, high
Soil Moisture: moist, wet
Soil Description: acid, neutral, rich, average, loam, clay, sand
Bloom Time: August, September, October
Bloom Color: white
Leaf Color: green
Hardiness Zone: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Additional Tags: bog plant, colonizing, fall interest, fragrant flowers, naturalizing, pond margin plant, swamp plant
Pricing & Availability
Spiranthes cernuaAlso known as:
nodding lady's tresses,
Nodding lady's tresses is terrestrial orchid with long, narrow, grass-like basal leaves. The small, white, fragrant flowers bloom all along spirally twisted, erect spikes that grow to 2 feet tall.
This native orchid can be found in grassy swamps, fields, and damp meadows. Spiranthes cernua can be grown in clay, loam or sand that is slightly acidic and moist to wet. Partly sunny spots are best for nodding lady's tresses. Once established, it does not respond well to transplanting. Blooming period lasts about a month, and may vary from August to October depending on its geographic location. Zones 3-8
This orchid is best left undisturbed. Under optimum conditions it will slowly form colonies. Mature specimens may be carefully separated from these colonies to begin new ones.
Spiranthes cernua may have been unwittingly protected from collection in the wild because few people will recognize it as an orchid. Nodding lady's tresses are one of the few orchids with fragrant flowers.
Native Range & Classification
Recorded County Distribution: USDA data
AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV
USDA Endangered Status:
- Exploitably Vulnerable: NY
|Species||Spiranthes cernua||nodding lady's tresses|