Orchid of the Week: Spiranthes cernua

Hi from Austin! I’m in Texas for a few days, visiting my sister and nieces. My older niece turns four in a few days. FOUR! How time flies. Anyway, in honor of my visit to TX, I selected an orchid native to the state: Spiranthes cernua, aka the Nodding Ladies’ Tresses orchid. Everything is bigger in Texas? Not so when it comes to this orchid:

Image credit: southeasternflora.com

These flowers are only about a centimeter in size. So cute!

Spiranthes cernua
Photo credit: garden-photos-com.com

As a bonus for me, this orchid also happens to be native to Missouri, my home state. Next time I’m at home I’ll have to do some orchid hunting. In fact, this orchid grows wild in over half the states in the U.S., mainly in the midwest, south, and northeast. So you may be able to find them in your hometown!

The leaves are thin, upright, and look like grass, so when the plants aren’t in bloom it can be easy to mistake them for the plain old green stuff.

Image credit: perennialnursery.com/forums

What type of orchids grow wild in your hometown?

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