Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for November 2nd, 2012

Ladies’ tresses

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There are only a few kinds of native orchids in central Texas, and if a person here encounters one at all, it’s likely to be Great Plains ladies’ tresses*, Spiranthes magnicamporum, which blooms in the fall. On October 29th I came home to a phone message from native plant enthusiast Meg Inglis, who alerted me to the appearance of some of those orchids on a street in her neighborhood. That area is at least 20 miles from where I live, but several years ago I found a fair number of ladies’ tresses on an undeveloped property in my part of town, so I took Meg’s message as a call to action to check out my local spot and see if any had also appeared close to home. They had indeed, and now you get to see one, another first for this blog. All told, I discovered only half a dozen ladies’ tresses; that number compares unfavorably to the couple of dozen I found on the property in 2009 and 2010, but favorably to the zero that came up in the drought year of 2011. Here’s to a happy recovery.

To see the many places in North America where this orchid grows, you can consult the state-clickable map at the USDA website.


* Some sources use the singular, lady’s tresses, but I’ll be magnanimous with the magnicamporum and attribute these tresses to more than one lady.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 2, 2012 at 6:15 AM

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