University of Florida

Scott L. Stewart: Research

Spiranthes floridana (Wherry) Cory emend. P.M. Brown

Florida Ladies'-Tresses

The Florida ladies'-tresses is highly endemic to two sites in north-central Florida. The species is historically known from a number of Florida counties, most notably Highlands and Lee Counties, but are presumed extirpated from those localities. In the state, less than 50 plants are known. Spiranthes floridana prefers sunny roadsides or sunny open areas such as cemeteries and open pine flatwoods. The species flowers from mid-March to late May in most years, although this flowering season may be shortened by the onset of drought at any point during flowering. Research on this species is being carried out in conjunction with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and private land owners. Partial funding has been provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the San Diego County Orchid Society.

Spiranthes floridana
Spiranthes floridana in flower.
Photos courtesy of P.M. Brown.

Spiranthes floridana
Spiranthes floridana -- in seed capsule (left) and flower close-up (right).