Spiranthes romanzoffiana (Hooded Ladies'-tresses)
|Also known as:|
|Habitat:||sun; wet meadows, fens, coniferous swamps|
|Bloom season:||July - August|
|Plant height:||5 to 18 inches|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: OBL MW: OBL NCNE: OBL|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Flowers are closely intertwined in 3 or 4 rows that spiral up a 1 to 5 inch spike with up to 45 blossoms, typically 3 flowers in a cycle of the spiral. The petals and sepals are white with a greenish to yellowish throat, up to ½ inch long, opening out in a trumpet appearance. The end of the lower lip unfurls down like a wavy tongue, a bit fiddle-shaped and ruffled at the tip half. 2 lance shaped sepals, lateral and upper petals come together but are not fused, forming a broad tubular hood above, the petal and sepal tips turned up.
Leaves and stems:
Found in northern Minnesota's vast northern swamps and wetlands, Hooded Ladies'-tresses populations are widely scattered and typically few in numbers. There are 5 species of Spiranthes in Minnesota and some can be a challenge to ID. The upper and lateral petals and sepals of S. romanzoffiana appear to be fused and form a broader hood than either Nodding Ladies'-tresses (S. cernua) or Great Plains Ladies'-tresses (S. magnicamporum). The latter species also typically has no remaining basal leaves by flowering time.
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Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Hubbard County.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?