Sep. 25, 2020

Ladies'-tresses at Ives Preserve

Last Sunday I led an outing at Ives Preserve. Didn't take pictures because the camera distracts me from my leader role. But another person did snap some of a ladies'-tresses orchid we saw. And that got interesting. After he posted his shots, someone told him that it looks like Spiranthes incurva. Turns out there was a new study of this group of Spiranthes, with several new species separated from S. cernua. But down here in Lenawee I can't just pop over to the herbarium library and look that up. It is still an identification mystery to me. When I did go back to take pictures yesterday, I couldn't find it. I did find this, which in the old key would be S. magnicamporum, a species we had not previously identified at the preserve. You will note I said at, not in. This was within a few feet of the boundary, and I don't know which side it was on. So unlike todays bedstraw, there are lots of unknowns with our ladies'-tresses.