Spiranthes casei

Catling and Cruise var. casei Case's Ladies' Tresses
Location Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario.

Specific Habitat

Dry to moderately moist sandy soils, deep to shallow, and sand filled crevices of igneous rock, roadsides and pastures. It is mostly a colonizer of disturbed sites where it develops large colonies until conditions change.
Its primary habitat is the rocks and soils of the Canadian Shield.

Flowering Season Mid August to mid September.


Height to 40 cm. Stem with reddish pubescence on back.
Basal leaves ovate-lanceolate, withering before flowering. Sheath leaves persist until flowering.
Inflorescence up to 15 cm. long, with 3-8 flowers loosely arranged in a single spiraled rank.
Flowers are tubular, cream coloured. Dorsal sepal and petals converge to form a tubular hood over the lip, tips of all three parts pointing outwards. Lip is egg-shaped, with an uneven outer margin, tip down-curved.
Flowers have a strong pungent odour when bruised or collected.


Only recognized as a separate species in 1974. Orchid is distinguished from S. cernua by its off-white rather than pure white flowers, and arrangement in a single, corkscrew-like spiral.


Orchids of Ontario
Orchids of the Northeast
The Canadian Field-Naturalist
The Orchids of Bruce & Grey

Habitat Plant Flower

© Royal Botanical Gardens, Dr. Donald Gunn Image Collection.