Spiranthes tuberosa

Spiranthes tuberosa small ladies’-tresses

Plant grows in the wild/spontaneouslyPlant is native to PA

Spiranthes tuberosa is the smallest member of the genus found in Pennsylvania – plants often grow no more than 2 or 3 inches tall and are easily missed amongst the competing vegetation.  Its bright white flowers bloom in a loose spiral.  Bloom time varies from June through October across its range; in our area it reaches its peak in late July to early August.

Like most Spiranthes, S. tuberosa loses its oval-shaped basal leaves before flowering.  It is found in a variety of generally dry habitats, including woodlands and open grassy meadows.

This species’ southwestern-most populations are found in Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas, from which it ranges across the midwestern and eastern U.S. northeast to southern New England and southeast to Florida.  It is listed as rare in Pennsylvania, with scattered populations across the southern third of the state. 

Source:  Spiranthes Tuberosa.  North American Orchid Conservation Center.  Copyright 2011-2022.  Available at goorchids.

Contributed by: Greg Funka

Very rare in grassy meadows and open woods.

Found in the southeast of the state.

Wetland codes

Flowers late August through October.

PA status: PE (Endangered)
S-rank:     S1 (Critically imperiled)
G-rank:     G5 (Secure)