Spiranthes casei Catling & Cruise

Case's ladies'-tresses

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Case's ladies'-tresses is a relatively rare species distributed in a narrow band from Wisconsin to northern New England, where a few populations can be found in the northern parts of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. Because it is found in open habitats with low vegetation, it is very susceptible to natural succession.

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats), meadows and fields, ridges or ledges

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
New England state
  • Maine
  • New Hampshire
  • Vermont
Leaf arrangement
  • alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
  • basal: the leaves are growing only at the base of the plant
Number of leaves on stem
one
Form of lower petal
the labellum does not have a pouch-like shape
Lower petal outline
the labellum is simple in form
Main color of lower petal
  • green to brown
  • white
  • yellow
Nectar spur
there are no nectar spurs on the flower
Inflorescence type
the inflorescence is a spike (a long unbranched stem with flowers along it that lack stalks)
Lower petal characteristics
the labellum is simple in form
Lower petal length
4.1–8 mm
Sepal length
5.2–8 mm
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Flower petal color
    • green
    • white
    • yellow
    Flower symmetry
    there is only one way to evenly divide the flower (the flower is bilaterally symmetrical)
    Flowering date
    • August
    • September
    Flowers per inflorescence
    4–50
    Form of lower petal
    the labellum does not have a pouch-like shape
    Hairs on flower stalk
    NA
    Hairs on inflorescence axis
    at least some of the hairs on the main stem of the inflorescence have glands
    Inflorescence length
    20–160 mm
    Inflorescence type
    the inflorescence is a spike (a long unbranched stem with flowers along it that lack stalks)
    Labellum position
    the labellum is in the lower position on the flower
    Length of flower stalk
    0 mm
    Length of narrowed base of lower petal
    0 mm
    Lobes at base of lower petal
    0 mm
    Lower petal characteristics
    the labellum is simple in form
    Lower petal length
    4.1–8 mm
    Lower petal outline
    the labellum is simple in form
    Lower petal strongly red-veined
    no
    Main color of lower petal
    • green to brown
    • white
    • yellow
    Nectar spur
    there are no nectar spurs on the flower
    Nectar spur length
    0 mm
    Number of stamens
    1
    Orientation of side petals
    • the lateral petals are angled steeply upwards
    • the lateral petals slant somewhat downward
    Self-pollinating flowers
    there are no cleistogamous flowers on this plant
    Sepal length
    5.2–8 mm
    Sepals fused only to sepals
    the sepals are separate from one another
    Shape of viscidium
    • the viscidium is lance-shaped (wider near one end, pointed at the ends)
    • the viscidium is long and narrow
    Spots on lower petal
    no
    Spur opening membrane
    NA
    Spur opening shape
    NA
  • Fruits or seeds
    Seed capsule orientation
    the capsule points upwards or is angled outwards
  • Growth form
    Plant green or not
    the plant is chlorophyllous (it has green parts)
    Roots
    the rhizomes do not resemble coral
    Underground organs
    • the plant has one or more swollen storage organs underground, such as bulbs, tubers or corms
    • there are only slender roots on the plant
  • Leaves
    Bract relative length
    the bract is shorter than the associated flower
    Features of leaves
    the leaf does not have any of the mentioned special features
    Leaf arrangement
    • alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
    • basal: the leaves are growing only at the base of the plant
    Leaf blade edges
    the edges of the leaf blade have no teeth
    Leaf blade length
    Up to 200 mm
    Leaf blade shape
    • the leaf blade is lanceolate (lance-shaped; widest below the middle and tapering at both ends)
    • the leaf blade is linear (very narrow with more or less parallel sides)
    • the leaf blade is oblanceolate (lance-shaped, but with the widest point above the middle of the leaf blade)
    • the leaf blade is ovate (widest below the middle and broadly tapering at both ends)
    Leaf blade tip
    the tip of the leaf blade is acute (sharply pointed)
    Leaf blade width
    Up to 20 mm
    Leaves during flowering
    • there are leaves on the plant when it is flowering
    • there are no leaves on the plant when it is flowering
    Number of leaves on stem
    one
  • Place
    Habitat
    terrestrial
    New England state
    • Maine
    • New Hampshire
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    • man-made or disturbed habitats
    • meadows or fields
    • ridges or ledges

Wetland Status

Not classified

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
absent
Maine
present
Massachusetts
absent
New Hampshire
present
Rhode Island
absent
Vermont
present

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

var. casei

New Hampshire
extremely rare (S-rank: S1), endangered (code: E)
Vermont
rare (uncertain) (S-rank: S2?)

Native to North America?

Yes

Sometimes Confused With

Spiranthes lacera

Synonyms

  • Spiranthes ×‌intermedia, auct. non Ames

Family

Orchidaceae

Genus

Spiranthes

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

1.  Spiranthes casei Catling & Cruise var. casei NC

Case’s ladies’-tresses. Spiranthes ×‌intermedia, auct. non Ames • ME, NH, VT; northern portion 
of states. Fields, low meadows, banks, disintegrating roadside ledges.