Spiranthes torta (Thunb.) Garay & H.R.Sweet

Southern Ladies' Tresses

Facts About

Accepted Synonyms: Ophrys torta, Spiranthes laxiflora

Spiranthes torta, commonly known as Southern Ladies' Tresses, is found in Bermuda, the Bahamas, West Indies, Mexico, Central America, but is restricted to the rocky pinelands in southern Florida. The leaves are reduced to bracts along the stem and the 2 or 3 basal, linear leaves wither or are absent at flowering time. The inflorescence has small white and green flowers with downward-pointing lateral sepals arranged in a loosely spiraled spike. The labellum, green with a white apex, distinguishes this species from S. tuberosa, a much shorter orchid with pure white flowers. This species blooms in late May-July on dry, rocky pinelands.

Spiranthes torta is apparently secure across its established range but it is extremely rare and endangered in southern Florida.


Pollinator information for this orchid has not been reported.

Ecosystem Type

Forests, 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:
  • green to brown
  • white
Nectar spur:
Inflorescence type:
the inflorescence is a spike
Labellum characteristics:
the labellum is simple
Labellum length:
Up to 4 mm
Sepal length:
Up to 5 mm
Plant height:
20–50 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