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leafless beak ladiestresses, scarlet ladies' tresses

Photo is of parent taxon

swamp beak orchid

Habit Plants 23–60 cm.

sheaths 5–9, cauline, bladeless.



petiole not distinct;

blade elliptic, 5–25(–35) × 2–8 cm.

present at flowering time.


3–18 cm;

rachis pubescent with bubble-shaped, glandular-capitate, and transitional hairs;

floral bracts lanceolate.

3–15 cm;

floral bracts red, lanceolate, 12–15 mm.


usually orange-red, occasionally pale green or golden bronze;

dorsal sepal free, lanceolate, ascending at apex;

lateral sepals basally connate, lanceolate, decurrent along lateral ribs of ovary;

petals lanceolate, falcate, slightly decurrent basally;

lip lanceolate, base sessile, grooved, apex acute to acuminate, with linear, nearly marginal, pubescent calli near base;

anther cap 6–7 mm.

9–29, deep red;

dorsal sepal 9–11 × 3.5–4.5 mm;

lateral sepals 12–14 × 33–42 mm, connate 1–2 mm over basal portion of mentum, distinct portion of mentum 0.8–1.2 mm;

petals 9–10.5 × 2.2–2.8 mm;

lip red to pale red, 11–13 × 3.8–4.5 mm;

column 6–7.5 mm from attachment of dorsal sepal to tip, foot extending back 3–4 mm;

pollinaria 3–3.5 mm;

viscidium 2.9–3.1 mm; pedicellate ovary 12–15 mm;

rostellum 2.3–2.8 mm.


ascending, ovoid, expanded portion 9–16 × 6–10 mm.

12 × 6 mm.


0.5–1.4 mm.


Sacoila lanceolata

Sacoila lanceolata var. paludicola

Phenology Flowering late Jan–early Apr.
Habitat Moist to wet hardwood forests on sandy or organic substrates
Elevation 0–10 m (0–0 ft)
from FNA
FL; Mexico; Central America; West Indies; n South America
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from FNA
FL; West Indies
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Varieties 2 (2 in the flora).

In Florida the two varieties differ in their breeding systems, Sacoila lanceolata var. lanceolata producing seed by adventitious embryony and var. paludicola by auto-pollination (P. M. Catling 1987). Plants of this species from Florida, referred to Spiranthes lanceolata var. luteoalba (Reichenbach) Luer (C. A. Luer 1972), represent only a very restricted clone with more ascending flowers whose characters intergrade with those of plants from other parts of the range. Because all green-flowered plants addressed by Luer do not consistently possess the distinctive features he noted and do not conform to the description of var. luteoalba (Reichenbach f.) Luer, they are best recognized at the rank of forma as forma albidaviridis Catling & Sheviak (P. M. Catling and C. J. Sheviak 1993).

Sacoila lanceolata is widespread in tropical and subtropical America. Synonyms for Sacoila lanceolata in the restricted sense are given by L. A. Garay (1980[1982]) and in the very broad sense by C. A. Luer (1972). Two color forms associated with var. lanceolata have been named: forma albidaviridis Catling & Sheviak, with green and white flowers, and forma folsomii P. M. Brown with golden bronze flowers.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Sacoila lanceolata var. paludicola is very uncommon. It is local in Collier County and introduced in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, Florida.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

1. Dorsal sepal 19–23 mm; leaves usually absent at flowering.
var. lanceolata
1. Dorsal sepal 9–11 mm; leaves present at flowering.
var. paludicola
Source FNA vol. 26, p. 528. FNA vol. 26, p. 529.
Parent taxa Orchidaceae > subfam. Orchidoideae > tribe Cranichideae > subtribe Spiranthinae > Sacoila Orchidaceae > subfam. Orchidoideae > tribe Cranichideae > subtribe Spiranthinae > Sacoila > Sacoila lanceolata
Sibling taxa
S. squamulosa
S. lanceolata var. lanceolata
Subordinate taxa
S. lanceolata var. lanceolata, S. lanceolata var. paludicola
Synonyms Limodorum lanceolatum, Satyrium lanceolata, Spiranthes lanceolata Spiranthes lanceolata var. paludicola
Name authority (Aublet) Garay: Bot. Mus. Leafl. 28: 352. (1982) (Luer) Sauleda: Phytologia 56: 308. (1984)
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