Spiranthes sylvatica P.M.Br.

Woodland Ladies' Tresses

Facts About

Accepted Synonyms: None

Spiranthes sylvatica, commonly known as the Woodland Ladies' Tresses, is distributed in the southeastern United States and the Gulf Coast region. This plant produces 3-7 leaves located on the lower third of the stem and 10-30 flowers that grow in a dense spike often appearing in multiple ranks. The tall flower spike, up to 80 cm, has pale green flowers with dark green veins arranged in a tight spiral. The leaves appear in late fall (in Florida) and are green through the winter.

The flowering period is late March-early May. It can be found growing in shaded habitats with dry soils such as roadsides, open woodlands, and live oak hammocks. Once considered a variation of the closely-related Spiranthes praecox, this orchid has recently been described as a new species.


Pollinator information for this orchid has not been reported.

Ecosystem Type

Grassland, meadows, woodlands


Leaf arrangement:
  • alternate
  • stem
Number of leaves on stem:
  • 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
  • white
Nectar spur:
Inflorescence type:
the inflorescence is a spike
Labellum length:
5–10 mm
Plant height:
20–80 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