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Habenaria repens

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
hab-en-AR-ee-uh REE-penz
Description

Water-spider Orchid is a native perennial orchid found in wet areas, blackwater swamps, pools, banks of creeks, rivers, and other riparian areas in North Carolina south to Florida, west to southeastern Arkansas and Texas and into tropical America. It can be both terrestrial or aquatic and can form floating mats in stagnant pools. It spreads by stolons and can be vigorous especially in wet conditions.

The flowers repeat bloom summer through fall and emit a strong vanilla fragrance at night to attract moths for pollination. This plant is difficult to transplant, and "nursery-grown" plants are often poached from the wild, so verify that plants are nursery propagated before purchasing. 

This plant needs moist to wet conditions with acidic soil. It will grow well in a bog among pitcher plants, margins of ponds, streams, lakes or in a container.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#water garden#fragrant flowers#heat tolerant#moths#native perennial#riparian#wet sites#NC native#fish#swamps#ponds#native wildflower#Coastal OBL#food source herbage#food source nectar#Piedmont Mountains OBL#wet soils tolerant#bird friendly#native orchid#audubon
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#water garden#fragrant flowers#heat tolerant#moths#native perennial#riparian#wet sites#NC native#fish#swamps#ponds#native wildflower#Coastal OBL#food source herbage#food source nectar#Piedmont Mountains OBL#wet soils tolerant#bird friendly#native orchid#audubon
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Habenaria
    Species:
    repens
    Family:
    Orchidaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Central and southeastern U.S.A., tropical America
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Spreading
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    8b, 8a, 9b, 9a, 10b, 10a
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Winter
    Fruit Description:
    Fruits are available September-December.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Green
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    10-30 3/4 inch flowers in a dense raceme. The sepals are light green and the petals and lip of each flower are a greenish-white. The labellum is lobed with a spur and the individual flowers look spider-like. Blooms sporatically June-November.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Produces 3-8 yellow-green leaves that gradually reduce in size towards the top of the stem. 10 inches long, and 1 inch wide.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Container
    Pond
    Riparian
    Landscape Theme:
    Water Garden
    Attracts:
    Moths
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Heat
    Wet Soil