This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol1", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Gyrostachys strict a Rydb. Mem. N. Y. Bot. Gard. 1: 107.
Stem 6'-15' high, glabrous, leafy below, bracted above, the inflorescence rarely puberulent. Lower leaves 3'-8' long, linear or linear-oblanceolate; spike 2'-4' long, 4"-7" thick; flowers in 3 rows, white or greenish, ringent, 4"-5" long, spreading horizontally, very fragrant; sepals and petals broad at the base, all more or less connivent into a hood; lip oblong or ovate-oblong, broad at the base, contracted below the dilated crisped apex, thin, transparent, veined; callosities mere thickenings of the basal margins of the lip, or none.
In bogs, Newfoundland to Alaska, south to Maine, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and California. July-Aug. Confused in our first edition with the Alaskan plant described as Spiranthes Romanzoffiana Cham, which has narrower, long-acuminate sepals and petals and an ovate, pointed end to the lip.
Neottia plantaginea Raf. Am. Month. Mag. 2: 206. 1818. N. lucida H. H. Eaton, Trans. Journ. Med. 5: 107. 1832. Spiranthes plantaginea Torr. Fl. N. Y. 2: 284. 1843. Spiranthes lucida Ames, Orch. 2: 258. 1908. I. plantagineum House, Bull. Torr. Club 32: 381. 1905.
Stem 4'-10' high, glabrous or pubescent, bracted above, bearing 4 or 5 lanceolate or oblanceolate leaves below. Leaves 1'-5' long; spike l'-2' long, 4"-5" thick, dense; floral bracts mostly much shorter than the flowers; flowers spreading, about 3" long; petals and sepals white, lateral sepals free, narrowly lanceolate, the upper somewhat united with the petals; lip pale yellow on the face, oblong, not contracted in the middle, the wavy apex rounded, crisped or fringed, the base short-clawed; callosities none, or mere thickenings of the lip margins.
Moist banks and woods, Nova Scotia to Minnesota, south to Virginia and Wisconsin. June-Aug.
Ophrys cernua L. Sp. PL 946. 1753-Spiranthes cernua L. C. Rich. Orch. Ann. 37. 1817. Gyrostachys cernua Kuntze, Rev. Gen. PL 664. 1891. Spiranthes odorata Lindl. Gen. & Sp. Orch. 467. 1840. Gyrostachys ocliroleuca Rydb. in Britton, Man. 300. 1901. /. incurvum Jennings, Ann. Car. Mus. 3: 483. 1906. /. cernuum House, Bull. Torr. Club 32: 381. 1905.
Stem 6'-2S' high (rarely taller), usually pubescent above, mostly bearing 2-6 acuminate bracts. Leaves nearly basal, linear-oblanceolate or linear, 3'-14' long, the blade narrow, the petiole 2'-10' long; spike 4'-5' long, 6"-7" thick; flowers white or yellowish, fragrant, nodding or spreading, about 5" long, in 3 rows; lateral sepals free, the upper arching and connivent with the petals; lip oblong, or sometimes ovate, the broad apex rounded, crenulate or crisped; callosities nipple-shaped, straight, hairy.