Mesadenus lucayanus (Britton) Schltr.

Copper Ladies' Tresses

Facts About

Accepted Synonyms: Mesadenus stahlii, Spiranthes stahlii

Mesadenus lucayanus, commonly known as Copper Ladies' Tresses, is distributed throughout the West Indies, Mexico, Central America, and in widely scattered wooded areas in northern and central Florida. This orchid has 2-5 leaves in a basal rosette that wither at flowering time. It bears an inflorescence of 8-60 very small (4-6 mm) coppery green flowers on a slender spike in late December through March. This species is found in cracks and crevices of rocky terrain and exposed limestone that support scrubby oak forests.

Mesadenus lucayanus is apparently secure globally because of its widespread distribution, although it is considered rare and endangered in Florida.


Pollinator information for this orchid has not been reported.

Ecosystem Type

Forests, woodlands


Leaf arrangement:
Number of leaves on stem:
  • two
  • three
  • four
  • five
Form of the labellum:
the labellum is not pouch-like
Labellum outline:
the labellum is simple
Main color of labellum:
green to brown
Nectar spur:
Inflorescence type:
the inflorescence is a spike
Labellum characteristics:
  • the labellum has a spur
  • the labellum is simple
Labellum length:
3–6 mm
Sepal length:
4–5 mm
Plant height:
Up to 40 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 Apparently Secure
US Status N/A
Canadian Status N/A

North America Distribution

Adapted from USDA data