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