Labor Day 2000 Home
Spiranthes cernua
Location: Lackawanna County - NE Pennsylvania
Spiranthes cernua starts blooming in late August and flowers until frost with Goldenrod and Bottled Gentians nearby.
Labor Day is really  a perfect time to search for the white spikes. They grow mostly in bright locations and don't like to be crowded out. Wet summers promote good growth of the spikes, yet the plants seem to prefer a well drained slope. Due to torrential downpours this summer, old stands of Spiranthes, which had not bloomed in years,  put on a nice show this season.
It is very unusual to see  leaves present at flowering time. Actually, it is almost impossible to spot the plants until the white spikes are present.
This pair is making its first appearance on a gravelly slope. The growing conditions are poor on this spot and lots of Lichen cover the ground. Some grasses created a soil pocket, rich enough for Spiranthes.
There seems to be some variability in these plants. The flowers and the arrangement of the flowers on the spike are not totally identical. Sometimes the throat has a small yellow center, some flowers are totally white.
Pretty spikes are growing right at the edge of the pond. These pictures were taken a few of years ago.