syn: Stenorrhynchos lanceolatum, Spiranthes lanceolata

While mostly restricted to peninsular Florida, this orchid does make occasional forays into northern Florida, having been collected from one county in the panhandle and a few counties bordering Georgia in the center of the state. These are inhabitants of moist fields, meadows and roadsides.

Spikes emerge in mid-spring, blooming from May to June. At this point, no leaves are visible on the plant (there is a variant growing in forests in deep southern Florida that does retain its leaves)...just naked fuzzy spikes up to 24 inches tall, bearing a head of flowers that can get up to six inches tall. The flowers themselves are around an inch long, pushed out another half inch by their pedicels, giving a diameter across the raceme of three or more inches. The bright coral pink-to-red of the flowers is quite conspicuous, easily spotted when passing by in a car going at 75 miles per hour. In fact, along the FL Turnpike from just south of Orlando down to Yeehaw Junction, these plants are reasonably common.

After blooming, the leaves begin to emerge in a basal rosette, reaching lengths of up to six inches each. These persist throughout the summer and fall. Winter coolness kills off these leaves, leaving the bud for next year's flower stem deep in the center, waiting for the spring rains to begin all over again.