slender ladies' tresses

COMMON NAME: Slender ladies’ tresses
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Spiranthes gracilis
FAMILY: Orchidaceae
LIFECYCLE: Annual
FEATURES: Common orchid species often seen in unmowed turfgrass, especially centipedegrass and zoysiagrass,
or in natural areas. Inflorescence a spiraling stem of stalk of small white flowers. Individual flowers only
a few millimeters across. A magnifying lens is required to see flower details. Leaves are linear with linear
venation, but leaves are rarely seen.
DESCRIPTION: Common plant on sandy soils in mid to late summer. Inflorescence often appear quickly and leaves remain
below the turfgrass or leaf litter canopy and are unnoticed. There is no need to apply any weed control
measures to remove this plant. Mowing will remove the flower stalks and a second stalk is normally not
produced. Individuals should enjoy this plant species if it appears on their property. It is a unique native
plant found in the southeast.

Broad View Inflorescence

Broad View
Inflorescence

Flower / Seed Head Inflorescence closeup

Flower / Seed Head
Inflorescence closeup

Flower / Seed Head Flowers closeup

Flower / Seed Head
Flowers closeup