CREEPING LADY'S-TRESSES

Goodyera repens

Orchid Family [Orchidaceae]

month8jul month8july month8aug

status
statusZnative
 
flower
flower8bicolour
 
flower
flower8green
 
inner
inner8cream
 
morph
morph8zygo
 
petals
petalsZ5
 
type
typeZspiked
 
stem
stem8round
 
smell
smell8sickly
sickly
rarity
rarityZscarce
 

26th June 2009, Holt Country Park, Norfolk. Photo: © Chris Cater
Grows in birchwoods or pinewoods which are essential for its growth. Here amidst pine needles. Also grows on dunes.


26th June 2009, Holt Country Park, Norfolk. Photo: © Chris Cater
Over-wintering non-flowering plants have a basal rosette of 5 or 6 leaves (centre). Flowering plants have two leaves in the basal rosette, and a few scale-like narrow leaves up the stem (left). un-like Autumn Lady's-Tresses they spread by underground runners, hence the 'creeping' in the name.


July 2009, Balmuduthy Dam, Scotland. Photo: © Phil And Ann Farrer
Flower spike is between 8 - 35cm tall. Flowers are small, in a single row, and kept close to the main stem. Although they have flower stalks emerging from all around the stem, the stalks are twisted such that most flowers face roughly in the same direction.


July 2009, Balmuduthy Dam, Scotland. Photo: © Phil And Ann Farrer
Several thin, short leafy bracts are on the very hairy stem and amidst the flowers, here un-opened.


July 1997, Aviemore, Scotland. Photo: © Phil And Ann Farrer
Glandular hairs everywhere give the plant a very fuzzy appearance from close quarters.


26th June 2009, Holt Country Park, Norfolk. Photo: © Chris Cater
The flowers are small, never opening fully and in a spiral around the single hairy stem.


26th June 2009, Holt Country Park, Norfolk. Photo: © Chris Cater
The flowers are cream-coloured and covered in glandular hairs.


26th June 2009, Holt Country Park, Norfolk. Photo: © Chris Cater
Two side lobes, a narrow tongue and a double cowl over the top. Stamens and etc are usually hidden by the narrow occluded opening.


Not all Lady's-tresses belong to the Genus Spiranthes, Creeping Lady's-tresses belongs to a differing Genera, that of Goodyera.

Slight resemblance to : Autumn Lady's-Tresses, Lady's Smock (Cardamine pratensis), Summer Lady's-tresses and Irish Lady's-Tresses but un-like all these, Creeping Lady's-tresses has creeping rhizomes, has net-veined leaves and differences in the flower.

Un-like the other Lady's-tresses, this one has a system of creeping rhizomes by which it vegetatively multiplies quite extensively, although it does also set seed to propagate, pollination being mostly by Bumble Bees.

No relation to : Lady's-Mantle (Alchemilla glabra), Lady's Bedstraw (Galium verum), Lady's Teardrops (Fuschia magellanica), Lords-and-Ladies (Arum maculatum) [plants with similar names belonging to differing families. But it is related to Lady's-Slipper Orchid (Cypripedum calceolus), but is in a differing genera].

Occupies pine and birch wood, but mostly of coniferous woodland, growing particularly well under the deep leaf-litter and moss underneath Scots Pine. Also old sand dunes under Pine Trees, or in a more open location amongst Bell Heather, but Pine Trees will never be far away.

The flowers, when open, have three white, short, sepals which are hairy on the outside, the lateral ones triangular, the upper one cowled over and not as wide. A kettle-like 'pouring' lip protrudes, this being mostly hairless. Within the flower are stamens bearing bright orange-coloured pollen.

Abundance mostly north of the Scottish border, especially around and about Inverness, but there are pockets in Norfolk, Cumbria and the North Pennines.

Smells sickly.


  Goodyera repens  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Orchidaceae  

Distribution
 family8Orchid family8Orchidaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Goodyera
Goodyera
(Creeping Lady's-Tresses)

CREEPING LADY'S-TRESSES

Goodyera repens

Orchid Family [Orchidaceae]

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