Spiranthes ovalis

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Spiranthes ovalis
Spiranthes ovalis.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Orchidoideae
Tribe: Cranichideae
Subtribe: Spiranthinae
Genus: Spiranthes
S. ovalis
Binomial name
Spiranthes ovalis

Spiranthes ovalis, commonly called the October lady's tresses,[1] is a species of orchid that is native to eastern North America.

Its range is widely distributed, being found from Texas to Florida, north to the Great Lakes.[2] However, it is uncommon throughout most of its range,[3] which has resulted in a patchy known distribution. Its natural habitat is in wet to mesic forests and woodlands.[3][4]

It produces delicate white flowers in the fall.[5] It can be distinguished from other Spiranthes in eastern North America by its small, tightly spiraled flowers, and the presence of basal leaves at flowering time.[3][4]


Two varieties of Spiranthes ovalis are recognized.[6] They are:

  • S. ovalis var. erostellata - Flowers closed, self-pollinating; widespread across the eastern North America
  • S. ovalis var. ovalis - Flowers open, cross-pollinating; restricted to the Southeastern Coastal Plain


  1. ^ "Spiranthes ovalis". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  2. ^ "Spiranthes ovalis". County-level distribution map from the North American Plant Atlas (NAPA). Biota of North America Program (BONAP). 2014. Retrieved 18 December 2017.
  3. ^ a b c Spiranthes ovalis North American Orchid Conservation Center
  4. ^ a b Alan Weakley (2015). "Flora of the Southern and Mid-Atlantic States".
  5. ^ MissouriPlants
  6. ^ Flora of North America, Spiranthes ovalis

External links[edit]