Leafless Beaked Ladies Tresses


Beach Botany

The Leafless Beaked Ladies Tresses, Sacoila lanceolata var. lanceolata, is a threatened orchid endemic to Florida. This herbaceous perennial resides in flatwoods, oak hammocks and disturbed sites in every county in Florida except the Panhandle. Lanceolata is supported by an erect stem that grows from a basal rosette to a height of about 2 feet. Lanceolate basal leaves are 8 inches long and 2 inches wide. There are 4 to 7 scale-like leaves along the stem. The plant is leafless at the time of flowering.

A single flower head, about 6 inches in height, at the tip of the stem has 10 to 40 dark red flowers clustered in a raceme inflorescence. Blooming occurs spring to summer. This photo was taken in Koreshan State Park.