Spiranthes tuberosa Raf.

Little Ladies' Tresses

Facts About

Accepted Synonyms: Triorchis grayi, Gyrostachys grayi

Spiranthes tuberosa, commonly known as Little Ladies' Tresses, is widely distributed in the southern and central United States, from Texas to Michigan and east to Massachusetts. It produces 3-5 basal leaves which wither at the time of flowering. It bears an inflorescence of up to 30 small white flowers arranged in a loose, single spiral. It generally blooms later than S. lacera var. lacera, and can be distinguished from other similar Spiranthes species by its pure white labellum. It can be found in dry to moist prairies and meadows, forests and woodlands, and along roadsides.

Spiranthes tuberosa is considered globally secure, although it is vulnerable throughout much of its eastern range.


This orchid is pollinated by Augochlorella pura and like other species of Spiranthes, its flower morphology suggests it may also be pollinated by species of Bombus.

Ecosystem Type

Disturbed habitats, forests, meadows, prairie, woodlands


Leaf arrangement:
Number of leaves on stem:
Form of the labellum:
the labellum is not pouch-like
Labellum outline:
the labellum is simple
Main color of labellum:
Nectar spur:
Inflorescence type:
the inflorescence is a spike
Labellum characteristics:
the labellum is simple
Labellum length:
2.5–5 mm
Sepal length:
3–5 mm
Plant height:
5–35 cm
Show All Characteristics

Native to North America


North American Conservation Status & Distribution

Conservation Status

Select a location to view conservation status:

Conservation and Wetland Status
Global Rank Secure
US Status N/A
Canadian Status N/A

North America Distribution

Adapted from USDA data