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re: Spiranthes cernua
Cernua- from the latin cernuo, "to fall headlong with face to the ground".
Refers to the flowers in a nodding position torwards the ground. Small white
flowers spiral up the thin spike or stem. A striking presentation.
This little beauty is found from the north of Florida to Canada on the eastern
seaboard with a couple of isolated populations in the west, one in New Mexico
and the other in Utah. It is a bog plant, typicaly occuring in damp meadows,
wet woods and roadside ditches, growing up to 50 cm tall. Though it may be
found seasonaly underwater, it's mainly found growing dry ( leaves above
water) in wet or moist rich soil in full sun. This info is from Luer's book,
Native Orchids of Florida and my own field observations of related Spiranthes
species. I would consider this plant for a bog or wetland tank setup without a
hood, planted in the upper ground level so the roots are still imbedded in the
waterlogged soil beneath with good light. Good luck, hope this helps.
Exotic Removal Program Administrator