Spiranthes vernalis Engelm. & Gray

Spring Ladies' Tresses

Facts About

Accepted Synonyms: Triorchis xyridifolia, Triorchis vernalis

Spiranthes vernalis, commonly known as Spring Ladies' Tresses, is widely distributed across the eastern and central United States, from New Hampshire to Texas. It produces 4-5 basal leaves which usually persist through flowering, and bears a spiraled inflorescence of up to 50 small white, cream-colored, or yellowish flowers. The labellum occasionally has two orange or brown spots near the center. It can be distinguished from other Spiranthes species by the pointed tips of the hairs on its inflorescence, as opposed to rounded tips seen in other species such as S. laciniata. It can be found in dry to moist meadows, prairies, fields, along roadsides, and occasionally in bogs.

Spiranthes vernalis is considered globally secure, although it is rare or vulnerable in much of the northern mid-Atlantic region.


This orchid is pollinated by bees in search of nectar, including Apis mellifera, Bombus impatiens and Bombus pensylvanicus.

Ecosystem Type

Disturbed habitats, grassland, meadows, prairie


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:
  • white
  • yellow
Nectar spur:
Inflorescence type:
the inflorescence is a spike
Labellum characteristics:
the labellum is simple
Labellum length:
5–8 mm
Sepal length:
6–10 mm
Plant height:
20–90 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 Secure
US Status N/A
Canadian Status N/A

North America Distribution

Adapted from USDA data