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Spiranthes romanzoffiana
Spiranthes romanzoffiana (Lady’s Tresses)
Orchidaceae (Orchid Family)

Blooming information withheld to protect the Orchids.

In the Four Corners area, Lady's Tresses Orchids are uncommon and that makes them even more lovely.  Numerous waxy white flowers spiral around a central stalk, often to a flower stalk height of four inches.  Ladies Tresses are found in boggy areas growing to about 6-12 inches tall and they are often hidden among grasses and sedges.  Basal leaves 


are narrow, vertical, and often rolled inward.  Main stems can sometimes recline at first (bottom center and right side of the above picture) and then grow erect.

Louis Richard named this genus (probably in the early 1800s) and Ludolf Chamisso named this species in 1828.  "Spiranthes" is from the Greek "speira", a "coil" and "anthes" is Greek for "flower".  The species name is for Count Romanzoff, early 19th century Russian financier for exploratory voyages.  (More biographical information about Romanzoff.)

 Spiranthes romanzoffiana
Spiranthes romanzoffiana (Lady’s Tresses)
Orchidaceae (Orchid Family)

Spiranthes romanzoffiana

Spiranthes romanzoffiana

Spiranthes romanzoffiana (Lady’s Tresses)
Orchidaceae (Orchid Family)

The top photograph at left shows that the lower lip of Spiranthes romanzoffiana is strongly reflexed (bent backwards) and its margin is erose, i.e., jagged, irregularly toothed.

In the lower photograph at left you can see the sepals and petals (very closely convergent but not united) forming a hood over the column (the organ, brown and cylindrical, that results from the union of filaments and style).

The upper arrow points to the constriction of the lower lip and the lower arrow points to the inward rolled margin of the lower lip, both key characteristics of Spiranthes romanzoffiana.

Spiranthes romanzoffiana
Spiranthes romanzoffiana (Ladys Tresses)
Orchidaceae (Orchid Family)
Spiranthes romanzoffiana (Lady’s Tresses)
Orchidaceae (Orchid Family)

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Range map for Spiranthes romanzoffiana