A frequent terrestrial or semi-aquatic orchid of swamps, ponds, rivers and flooded ditches in much of Florida. The range extends throughout the southeastern coastal states, west into Texas, plus Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky, and up the Atlantic coast to New Jersey.
Marsh ladies-tresses bloom from October though January. Ten to 30 small white flowers are arranged in three or four rows that spiral up the spike of the inflorescence. Individual flowers are 9 - 18 mm long (1/3 - 3/4 in.) long, mostly white or ivory and often with the center of the lower lip a creamy yellow or greenish color. Petals and sepals are similar color, with the sepals extending forward. The 3 to 5 basal leaves are linear to oblanceolate, up to 52 cm (20-1/2 in.) long and 4 cm (1-1/2 in.) wide and are usually present when the plant is flowering. The stem has sheathing bracts that are reduced upward.
Spiranthes odorata is sometimes classified as a variant or subspecies of S. cernua, which only occurs in Florida in one or two panhandle counties.
Spiranthes odorata is a member of the Orchidaceae - Orchid family.
Other species of the Spiranthes genus in the Wild Florida Photo database:
Spiranthes brevilabris - TEXAS LADIESTRESSES
Spiranthes cernua - NODDING LADIESTRESSES
Spiranthes eatonii - EATON'S LADIESTRESSES
Spiranthes laciniata - LACELIP LADIESTRESSES
Spiranthes praecox - GREENVEIN LADIESTRESSES
Spiranthes sylvatica - WOODLAND LADIESTRESSES
Spiranthes vernalis - SPRING LADIESTRESSES
Date record last modified: May 07, 2020