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Species, Natural Hybrid Orchid, Nodding Ladies' Tresses, Nodding Spiranthes

Spiranthes cernua

Family: Orchidaceae (or-kid-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Spiranthes (spy-RAN-theez) (Info)
Species: cernua (SER-new-a) (Info)
Additional cultivar information:(natural hybrid)
Synonym:Gyrostachys cernua
Synonym:Neottia cernua
Synonym:Ophrys cernua
Synonym:Spiranthes annua
Synonym:Spiranthes constricta
View this plant in a garden



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are fragrant

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


3-6 in. (7-15 cm)


USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade



Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall




Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Worcester, Massachusetts

Plymouth, Michigan

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Panama, New York

Glouster, Ohio

Sherwood, Oregon

Devon, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Wakefield, Rhode Island

Burns, Tennessee

Weir, Texas

Blacksburg, Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 2, 2017, JennysGarden_TN from Collierville, TN wrote:

Spirantha cernua is gowing nicely in my zone 7b garden. Love their white nodding blooms.


On Nov 8, 2011, jackidee from Sherwood, OR wrote:

This has grown to a nice colony in my damp shade garden near hostas, blooming reliably in October and November even as other plants damaged by frost. I only notice fragrance when cut flowers are brought inside, as they warm up. It is a treasure to bloom so late for me.


On Oct 24, 2006, hgtnpat from Weir, TX wrote:

We discovered this plant growing on our property in Central Texas last October. It bloomed from October until frost. I am not convinced that this plant needs constant moisture, as we have been going through one of the worst droughts in recorded history for this area, and have experienced record heat. My records show we received our last spring rain June 24, 2006 (monthly total 3.70). The next measureable rain event did not happen until Sept 4, 2006 (.06"). The monthly total for Sept, 2006 was 5.80. Maybe the plant is dormant in the summer and begins to grow with the fall rains?

Commets welcomed.


On Aug 31, 2002, Baa wrote:

A terrestrial orchid from North America.

Has linear, smooth, mid-green leaves. Bears tiny, pure white, scented flowers in a spiral formation up the flowering stem.

Flowers late August - October

Needs a sheltered spot. Likes a moist but well-drained soil in light shade. Don't let the soil dry out for too long. Will multiply where happy.


On Jul 1, 2001, RiseAnn from Rapid City, SD (Zone 5b) wrote:

Sweetly fragrant, porceline white flower spires. Long lasting cut flower. Damp organic soils are ideal.