Spiranthes magnicamporum

Great Plains Ladies' Tresses
Prairie Ladies' Tresses
Location Ontario.
Its centre of distribution is the Great Plains of the United States mid-west; ie., the prairies and grasslands of the eastern Great Plains region from Texas north to North Dakota, as well as Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan, and southwestern Ontario.
Specific Habitat

Grows in a wide range of unshaded habitats, from very dry grasslands, marshy areas that become dry in summer, moist prairie soils with a high humus content, to drier parts of marly fens.
In general, it is found in drier sites than those occupied by S. cernua. It also colonizes mildly disturbed habitats such as roadsides, fallow fields, sandy areas.

Flowering Season Late September to October.


Height to 50 cm. Plant pubescent above, glabrous below.
Leaves 3 - 6, green, basal, and cauline, extending up the stem as leafy bracts.
Inflorescence of up to 60 pale yellowish flowers, in a single coil appearing in several ranks. Frequently the twist is so loose that a single spiralling rank can easily be seen. The tip of the spike is narrow and pointed as compared to the blunt cylindrical spike of S. cernua.
Flowers are white or creamy with pale yellow on the lip.


Very rare in Ontario, having been found only in three open, treeless sites in the south-central portion of the Bruce Peninsula. Two of these sites are clearly calcareous.


Orchids of Ontario
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.