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Spiranthes cernua facts for kids

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Nodding lady's tresses
Spiranthes cernua (1).jpg
Scientific classification
Genus:
Spiranthes
Species:
cernua
Synonyms
  • Ophrys cernua L. (basionym)
  • Limodorum autumnale Walter
  • Spiranthes annua Lesq. ex Brandeger & Coville
  • Neottia cernua (L.) Sw.
  • Gyrostachys cernua (L.) Kuntze
  • Gyrostachys constricta Small
  • Spiranthes constricta (Small) K.Schum.
  • Ibidium cernuum (L.) Bouse
  • Triorchis cernua (L.) Nieuwl.

Spiranthes cernua, commonly called the nodding lady's tresses, is a species of orchid occurring from Maritime Canada to the eastern and southern United States. As the common name suggests cernua means "nodding," or "bowed" in Latin.

Spiranthes cernua has long been described as a species complex, exhibiting different morphologies throughout its range. Charles Sheviak, now retired curator of the New York State Museum Herbarium, explored this diversity in great detail, eventually describing Spiranthes magnicamporum to represent large, later-flowering individuals with tuberous roots from the Midwest. More recently, molecular and morphological work has recognized additional cryptic species in need of description; these newly recognized species are sometimes not closely related to S. cernua.

Broadly, the Spiranthes cernua species complex includes:

A commonly cultivated variety is Spiranthes cernua 'Chadds Ford', grown because of its larger flowers, ease of cultivation, and other merits.

This species blooms in the autumn, and is commonly found along roadsides and pond edges.

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