4. Spiranthes brevilabris Lindley, Gen. Sp. Orchid. Pl. 471. 1840.
Spiranthes gracilis (Bigelow) Beck var. brevilabris (Lindley) Correll
Plants 7–40 cm. Roots few, spreading to descending, mostly to 0.5 cm diam., slender. Leaves usually persisting through anthesis, 3–5, basal, spreading, oval-oblanceolate, 2–6 × 1–2 cm. Inflorescences: spikes secund to loosely spiraled, 8–10 flowers per cycle of spiral; rachis densely pubescent, some trichomes capitate to clavate, glands obviously stalked. Flowers cream to pale yellow; sepals distinct to base, 5 × 1 mm; lateral sepals appressed; petals linear to lance-oblong, 5 × 1 mm, apex acute to obtuse; lip yellow centrally, ovate to oblong, 5 × 2.5 mm, apex dilated, yellow, pubescent, apical margin crisped, finely lacerate; veins several, branches very short; basal calli long-pointed, mostly to 1 mm; viscidium linear-lanceolate; ovary mostly 3 mm. Seeds monoembryonic.
Flowering Feb--Apr. Dry to moist roadsides and fields; 0--100 m; Ala., Fla., Ga., La., Miss., Tex.
Spiranthes brevilabris and S. floridana are often and easily confused, although the degree of pubescence is an excellent diagnostic tool in the field.
This species has dramatically declined, with only a single extant population known in 1998–2000.