Spiranthes infernalis Sheviak

Ash Meadows Ladies' Tresses

Facts About

There are no synonyms for this orchid.

Spiranthes infernalis, the Ash Meadows Ladies' Tresses, is endemic to Nevada's hot and dry Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. The basal leaves are usually present at flowering time and may extend along the lower half of the stem. The inflorescence of this orchid is distinctive with its dense arrangement of very small tubular flowers. The apical and median portions of the flower parts are a dull yellow tan although the basal portion of each of these segments is fleshy and a deep green. The tip of the labellum is a pale orange. This orchid grows in moist sites associated with springs and spring-fed streams and marshes in fine-textured soils with a high salt content.

Spiranthes infernalis is considered critically imperiled because of it limited distribution and threats to small populations from invasive plants, illegal collection and depletion of regional groundwater in fragile wetlands.


Pollinator information for this orchid has not been reported, but reproductive success is dependent on insect visitation. Like other species of Spiranthes, pollination may be accomplished by a large variety of bees.

Ecosystem Type

Meadows, stream bank


Leaf arrangement:
  • basal
  • 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 length:
5–6 mm
Sepal length:
4–6 mm
Plant height:
18.5–39 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 Critically Imperiled
US Status N/A
Canadian Status N/A

North America Distribution

Adapted from USDA data