Spiranthes lacera

(Rafinesque) Rafinesque var. lacera Northern Slender Ladies' Tresses
Location Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta. Mixed forest region and northern part of the deciduous forest region.

Specific Habitat

Frequently found in dry to moist, shallow to deep sand over almost any type of rock, acidic or basic. Colonies are found in open, sandy or rocky, deciduous or coniferous woods.

Flowering Season July and August.


Height to 46 cm.
Leaves 3 5 basal rosette, withering before flowering.
Flowers white with center of lip yellowish green, light green or grayish green inside and outside. Arranged in a single rank with almost no spiral.
Usually a sweet fragrance present.


The most slender and delicate of the Spiranthes. The torn (lacera) lip must be viewed under a magnifying glass. Plants generally occur close to trees and shrubs. In most situations there is little or no competing vegetation. Cypripedium acaule is a companion plant.


The Candian Field-Naturalist
The Orchids of Bruce & Grey

Habitat Plant Flower

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