Spiranthes lucida (H.H. Eat.) Ames

shining 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

Shining ladies'-tresses is found in all New England states on river and lake shores, seeps and meadows, especially on high-pH sites. This species differs from the other New England members of its genus (Spiranthes), in having flower morphology more adapted to the small, short-tongued bees in the sweat bee family (Halictidae), whereas the other species are morphologically adapted to the larger long-tongued bees, such as bumblebees (Bombus) and leaf cutting bees (Megachilide).

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats), meadows and fields, riverine (in rivers or streams), shores of rivers or lakes

Characteristics

Habitat
wetlands
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
Leaf arrangement
basal: the leaves are growing only at the base of the plant
Number of leaves on stem
absent
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
  • orange
  • 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
5–6 mm
Sepal length
4.5–6 mm
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Flower petal color
    white
    Flower symmetry
    there is only one way to evenly divide the flower (the flower is bilaterally symmetrical)
    Flowering date
    • July
    • June
    Flowers per inflorescence
    5–21
    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
    20–70 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
    Lobes at base of lower petal
    0 mm
    Lower petal characteristics
    the labellum is simple in form
    Lower petal length
    5–6 mm
    Lower petal outline
    the labellum is simple in form
    Lower petal strongly red-veined
    no
    Main color of lower petal
    • green to brown
    • orange
    • 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 outward
    Self-pollinating flowers
    there are no cleistogamous flowers on this plant
    Sepal length
    4.5–6 mm
    Sepals fused only to sepals
    the sepals are fused to each other (not other flower parts), at least near their bases
    Shape of viscidium
    the viscidium is oval
    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
    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
    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
    30–120 mm
    Leaf blade length to width ratio
    6–8
    Leaf blade shape
    • the leaf blade is elliptic (widest near the middle and tapering at both ends)
    • the leaf blade is lanceolate (lance-shaped; widest below the middle and tapering at both ends)
    Leaf blade tip
    the tip of the leaf blade is acute (sharply pointed)
    Leaf blade width
    5–15 mm
    Leaves during flowering
    there are leaves on the plant when it is flowering
    Number of bracts on stem
    2–3
    Number of leaves on stem
    absent
  • Place
    Habitat
    wetlands
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    • New Hampshire
    • Rhode Island
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    • in rivers or streams
    • man-made or disturbed habitats
    • meadows or fields
    • shores of rivers or lakes

Wetland Status

Usually occurs in wetlands, but occasionally in non-wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: FACW)

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

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

Conservation Status

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

Maine
extremely rare (S-rank: S1), threatened (code: T)
Massachusetts
rare (uncertain) (S-rank: S2?), #NAME? (code: #NAME?)
New Hampshire
extremely rare (S-rank: S1), endangered (code: E)
Rhode Island
historical (S-rank: SH), state historical (code: SH)
Vermont
uncommon (S-rank: S3)

Native to North America?

Yes

Sometimes Confused With

Spiranthes lacera

Synonyms

  • Ibidium plantagineum Raf.
  • Neottia lucida H.H. Eat.

Family

Orchidaceae

Genus

Spiranthes

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

4.  Spiranthes lucida (H.H. Eat.) Ames N

shining ladies’-tresses. Ibidium plantagineum Raf.; Neottia lucida H.H. Eat. • CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT. River and lake shores, most prevalent in areas influenced by high-pH bedrock, also in seeps and meadows.