Spiranthes arcisepala M.C. Pace

Appalachian Ladies' Tresses

Facts About

Accepted Synonyms: none

Spiranthes arcisepala, the Appalacian Ladies' Tresses, is a recently described species that is widely distributed throughout the northeast, from Ontario south to Virginia and as far west as Ohio. It produces 1-4 basal leaves which are held upright but wither shortly after the plant flowers. The white flowers form a loosely coiled spiral along the spike and are distinguished by their pubescent, downward arching lateral sepals with tips that often surpass the ruffled, lower margin of the labellum. It grows in moist, short-statured habitats, such as grasslands, bogs, marshes, and fens, as well as along wet roadsides.

The conservation status of the newly described Spiranthes arcisepala has not been reported and may currently be under review in several areas where it occurs.


As in most Spiranthes, bumblebees move upward on the inflorescence in search of nectar. Older flowers at the base of the stalk have more nectar, which makes them an efficient first stop for the foraging bumble bees.

Ecosystem Type

Bogs, fens, grassland, meadows, seeps


Leaf arrangement:
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:
7.2–10.1 mm
Sepal length:
8.3–9.7 mm
Plant height:
Up to 46 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 N/A
US Status N/A
Canadian Status N/A

North America Distribution

Adapted from USDA data