Three years ago I found this beautifully blooming plant at the edge of the woods near the asparagus bed. After some research I identified it as a Nodding ladies tresses (Spiranthes cernua). Wow! I’d never seen a plant like this before. To help me avoid stepping on the Nodding ladies tresses, I placed a tomato stake near it so I could find it again.
I was thrilled to see the same plant bloom again the next year. As I was walking through overgrown grass which I had neglected to mow, I saw some white peeking through the grass. How wonderful — there were several more plants which had come up and bloomed in this grass — more than seventy feet from the original plant! Carefully, I transplanted these new-found Nodding ladies tresses to reside near the first plant.
Last year, all the plants survived and bloomed. Earlier this year I realized I did not have the plants clearly marked and they were at risk of being walked upon. Their leaves are so small and not easily seen within any other green growth. In fact, I had trouble finding them myself — until they put up flowering spikes a month ago. I weeded around the plants, mulched them and marked them with red flags.
To cap off the magical aspect of my discovery of this plant, I found three more plants recently — again, some distance away from the “mother” plant. They are now part of the growing “Nodding ladies tresses garden.” I envision the space filled with these beauties in a few years.