Orchidaceae
Spiranthes porrifolia

Western Ladies' Tresses

Stem erect, with dense spike of flowers. Basal leaves several to 6 in., becoming smaller upward. Flowers in dense spiral spike, cream to yellowish; upper sepal and 2 petals fused together forming a cylinder with tips spreading; 2 lower sepals not fused; lower petal bending down, with fine hair on tip, sepals and petals all about the same size length. Grows in freshwater marshes, wet meadows, seeps, at low to mid-elevations. Spiranthes is Greek for "coiled flowers," as all Spiranthes blossoms are held in a spiral spike. Differences between this species and S. romanzoffiana are subtle; notice the hair on tip of lower petal.

  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Flowering Time: Early Summer
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Height: 6--24 inches
  • Habitat: Meadow, West-Side Forest, Bog/Fen/Wetland, Coastal
  • Found In: East Gorge, Siskiyous
  • Native: Yes