Spiranthes sheviakii

Spiranthes sheviakii old field ladies'-tresses

Plant grows in the wild/spontaneouslyPlant is native to PA

Spiranthes sheviakii was first identified as the “old field ecotype” of S. cernua by Charles Sheviak and – after genetic analysis – described as a unique species in 2021 by Michael Hough and Matthew Young, who found it to be an ancient (and now self-sustaining) hybrid of S. cernua and S. ochroleuca.  Its flowers are slightly cream-colored and nodding and appear to be quite narrow compared to other species within the complex.  Its lateral sepals ascend sharply upward, often curling back over its top petal.  Flowering time for this species is mid to late-September.

S. sheviakii ranges from 6 to 20 inches tall. Like other members of the S. cernua complex, its narrow leaves usually wither and disappear by the time it blooms. Its habitat is similar to S. ochroleuca: dry, often acid fields and forests.

The range of this species is currently believed to be limited to areas near Lakes Ontario, Erie, and Michigan as well as locations along the Ohio River Valley.  Populations have been identified in Northwestern Pennsylvania and more may exist across the western third of the state.

Source: Hough, Michael and Matthew Young. 2021.  A Systematic Survey of the Spiranthes cernua Species Complex (Orchidaceae) in New York.  The Native Orchid Conference Journal, 18.3: 22-56.

Contributed by: Greg Funka

Grows in dry fields and forests.

Mostly present in the northwestern part of the state.

Wetland code: Not classified

Flowers mid to late September.

S-rank:  No rank
G-rank:  No rank