Spiranthes brevilabris


Gen. Sp. Orchid. Pl., 471. 1840.

Synonyms: Spiranthes gracilis var. brevilabris (Lindley) Correll
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 26. Mentioned on page 535.

Plants 7–40 cm. Roots few, spreading to descending, mostly to 0.5 cm diam., slender. Leaves usually persisting through anthesis, 3–5, basal, spreading, oval-oblanceolate, 2–6 × 1–2 cm. Inflorescences: spikes secund to loosely spiraled, 8–10 flowers per cycle of spiral; rachis densely pubescent, some trichomes capitate to clavate, glands obviously stalked. Flowers cream to pale yellow; sepals distinct to base, 5 × 1 mm; lateral sepals appressed; petals linear to lance-oblong, 5 × 1 mm, apex acute to obtuse; lip yellow centrally, ovate to oblong, 5 × 2.5 mm, apex dilated, yellow, pubescent, apical margin crisped, finely lacerate; veins several, branches very short; basal calli long-pointed, mostly to 1 mm; viscidium linear-lanceolate; ovary mostly 3 mm. Seeds monoembryonic.

Phenology: Flowering Feb–Apr.
Habitat: Dry to moist roadsides and fields
Elevation: 0–100 m


V26 1086-distribution-map.jpg

Ala., Fla., Ga., La., Miss., Tex.


Spiranthes brevilabris and S. floridana are often and easily confused, although the degree of pubescence is an excellent diagnostic tool in the field.

This species has dramatically declined, with only a single extant population known in 1998–2000.

Selected References


Lower Taxa