New England to Florida and wwstward.
Flowers: very small; growing on one side of a slender, twisted spike. Corolla: hardly a quarter of an inch broad; the lip spreading and crimped. Leaves: ovate; withering early in the season. Stem: erect; leafy below and having bracts above.
Surely the ladies have been sleeping that long ago they did not resent the changing of this plant's English name from lady's traces, which the braided appearance of the stem somewhat suggests, to lady's tresses. There is nothing about the prim little blossoms to recall the flowing locks that are woman's crowning glory.
It may be found in dry ground, on the side of hills, in sandy places and open fields.
G. cernua is perhaps the commonest little orchis that we have. The stem is more twisted and flowered than that of G. gracilis and the low stem leaves are almost linear. The spiral growth of the flowers about the stem is very pretty, and the blossoms are fragrant. It seldom grows over eight inches tall and blossoms in September and October. In low grounds throughout the east and south it is most common.