7. Spiranthes eatonii Ames ex P. M. Brown, N. Amer. Native Orchid J. 5: 9, figs. on pp 14, 15. 1999.
Plants 15–55 cm. Roots mostly to 1 cm diam., few, stout. Leaves withering at anthesis, 3–7, basal, spreading, oblanceolate, 5.5 × 0.75–1 cm. Spikes secund to tightly spiraled, 8–10 flowers per cycle of spiral; rachis pubescent, some trichomes capitate, glands obviously stalked. Flowers white; sepals green at base, spatulate, 3–4.5 × 1 mm; petals green at base, linear to lance-oblong, 3–4.5 × 1 mm, apex acute to obtuse; lip with distinct green central portion, ovate to oblong, 3–5 × 2–3 mm, narrowed to rounded apex; veins several, divergent; basal calli pointed outward, thickened, mostly to 1 mm; viscidium linear-lanceolate; ovary mostly 3 mm. Seeds monoembryonic.
Flowering Feb--May. Se coastal plain and Gulf Coast in dry to moist fields, pine flatwoods, wood roads, cemeteries; 0--100 m; Ala., Fla., Ga., La., Miss., N.C., S.C., Tex., Va.
Spiranthes eatonii is easily confused with S. lacera var. lacera (and in herbarium specimens with S. floridana, S. brevilabris, S. tuberosa, and S. torta), except that it flowers in the winter and spring. It is the only white-flowered, basal-leaved Spiranthes within its range to bloom at that time of year. The narrow, oblanceolate leaves are distinctive within this group.