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- Photo replaced on August 14, 2014
Last week we traveled to eastern Washington and on the way looked for the one Washington native orchid we had not seen, the Ute Ladies'-tresses, Spiranthes diluvialis. As is evident from this photo we found it, and in fact found it in two locations. It is very rare throughout its range and is listed as threatened by the federal government due especially to habitat destruction. As the species name indicates, it prefers wetland habitats, riverbanks, flood plains, lakeshores, etc. (diluvialis means "from the flood") and this was found on a river flood plain that is often under water until early summer. The different species of the genus Spiranthes are referred to as Ladies' tresses in reference to the way the flowers are arranged in spiral around the stem.