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Nodding Ladies’ Tresses

The downward “nodding” curve of its tubular flowers gives Nodding Ladies’ Tresses (Spiranthes cernua) part of its common name. ( I’m not sure where the reference to tresses, or a woman’s long  locks or braid of hair, comes from.)  The bright white flower spike of this relatively common member of the Orchid family stands out in moist meadows of green grasses.   A perennial, Nodding Ladies’ Tresses grows between 4 and 12 inches tall, and is pollinated by both long and short-tongued nectar-seeking bees. 

 

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