Spiranthes lucida

(H.H. Eaton) Ames
Shining Ladies' Tresses
Wide Leaved Ladies' tresses
Location Ontario.
Nova Scotia, Prince edward Island, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario. Range extends from New Brunswick to Michigan, and south to Virginia and Kansas.

Specific Habitat

Found on calcareous, rocky or sandy open areas, along inland lakes, rivers and Lake Huron. It is often found among grasses and sedges where the ground has been flooded in the spring.

Flowering Season Late September to October.


Height 4 15 cm.
Stem glandular, hairy.
Leaves several, clustered at base, shiny green and prominent, oblong lanceolate, blunt to acuminate.
Flowers are white, spirally twisted around a slender spike 2 5 cm. long. Often spiraled to create 3 ranks. Flowers nodding or horizontal.
Dorsal sepal with lateral petals forms a hood over the column.
Lip edges white, medium stripe yellow, oblong, rounded at the flaring apex.
Sometimes fragrant.


This is the smallest, earliest blooming and least abundant of our spiranthes. The white flower with the deep saffron yellow lip is a colour combination that is unique in Ontario orchids.


Orchids of Ontario
The Canadian Field-Naturalist Vol III-1
The Native Orchids of the United States and canada excluding Florida
The Orchids of Bruce & Grey

Habitat Plant Flower

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