National Collection Spotlight: Case’s ladies tresses
Case’s ladies tresses (Spiranthes casei) is a native North American orchid imperiled throughout much of its range. This species can be found in the northeastern U.S. and eastern Canada, from Minnesota to Nova Scotia. A terrestrial orchid, Case’s ladies tresses grows in open woodlands and meadows. Its small white flowers are held on a twisting inflorescence characteristic of Spiranthes species (the genus’s Latin name means spiral flower).
Spiranthes casei is secured in the CPC National Collection at Longwood Gardens. In addition to collecting and storing seed from wild populations, Longwood has conducted propagation research and tissue culture for the species. Longwood is working to restore populations of Spiranthes casei in Pennsylvania, where the species is endangered and faces heightened threats.