Sep. 12, 2021

The Sphinx speaks!

The Systematics of the Spiranthes cernua Species Complex by Matthew Pace and Kenneth Cameron was published in 2017. I had been trying in futility to get the entire article on my computer for some time. Now I have discovered I can get it on my phone. What the difference is will remain an eternal mystery of the digital age. Anyway, we now know that these flowers are not Spiranthes cernua. They are the most common species in Michigan, but S. cernua only grows south and east of here. Genome analysis reveals instead that these are Spiranthes incurva. In common vernacular, they have creatively become Sphinx ladies'-tresses. Certainly fits with our inability to understand them until now.