Nodding Lady Tresses
Ease to Grow: Easy
Native Range: Peat Bogs of Eastern and Central North America
Zones: 3-8 (2-10)
Nodding Lady Tresses, Spiranthes cernua, is a delightful fall blooming bog orchid with a spiral of white flowers on a tall stem. Each blossom "nods", or tips down slightly, giving it its name. Lips are wavy and tinted yellow. There can be 10 to 50+ flowers on a stalk, looking like small white stair cases winding up a castle turret. Lady Tresses flowers are fragrant and bloom from late summer until after the first frost. Leaves are long and lanceolate, usually 3-5 per plant. The Lady Tresses Orchid is a bog plant that grows in open, acidic bogs with sphagnum moss, but is adaptable to drier, upland conditions, as long as the soil remains damp during flowering. It does best in wet conditions, and frequently sends out a stolon budding small plants. It is an adaptable and vigorous grower. Seeds are very fine and dust like, spread by the wind, producing volunteers readily throughout the collection or bog garden. It is winter hardy, and should be protected from rodents during dormancy. Mulch with 4+" of pine needles in the Fall. Leave at least a 1" of needles after spring cleanup. The rhizomes can be stored in damp sphagnum at 35°F (2°C) in a refrigerator for 3 or 4 months. Water with rain/distilled water, they are sensitive to mineral buildup. It spreads nicely and grows well among pitcher plants. It is an autumn treasure, and makes good cut flowers.
Our plants are not collected from the wild, and are propagated from root divisions of plants in our collection.
For Lady Tresses size refers to age of plants. Small (1 year), medium (2-3 years), large [floweringsize] (4+ years).
Plants are shipped bare-root, wrapped in damp sphagnum moss. In it's dormant season, it will be shipped as a dormant root/rhizome. Photographs are representative of species and not the specific Spiranthes cernua for sale.
Height: 2" - 6"
Plant Type: Perennial, cold temperate
Soil: Bog Orchid Mix
Soil pH: 4-5
Light: Full to Partial Sun
Use: Grows best outdoors in the bog garden or pots.