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Creeping Lady's-tresses
Goodyera repens

Creeping Lady's-tresses grows mainly in native pine woodlands in the northern part of England and into Scotland, but there are also a few colonies in old pine plantations in Norfolk. The tiny spikes of densely hairy white flowers are distinctive, and although they are broadly similar to Autumn Lady's-tresses the two species do not appear in the same habitat. Classified as Nationally Scarce, this orchid can nevertheless be abundant in some pine woodland locations in Scotland, whilst in other places the plant is becoming rarer and has disappeared altogether from some sites. Creeping Lady's-tresses flowers from late June to late August, peaking in mid-July. On mainland Europe, this plant occurs from Scandinavia in the north to Italy and Greece in the south.

Distribution Map Key Features
distribution map

Records for Creeping Lady's-tresses from BSBI are shown on the map with most recent in front. (Hover the mouse over the small map to expand it.)

CLICK HERE to visit the BSBI website page for updated data and maps with separated data for individual record periods.

Plant: 7 to 20cm in height; stem pale green, ridged and densely hairy towards the tip.
Leaves: there is a basal rosette of 3 to 9 dark blue-green leaves which have pale vein-like markings; they are oval, becoming more tapered towards the tip.
Bracts: pale green with scattered white hairs.
Flowers: up to 25 white and densely hairy flowers which, although arranged around the stem, tend to face in one direction. The upper sepal and petals form a tight hood over the lip of the flower, and the lateral sepals droop downwards. The lip is white and distinctly shorter than the sepals. The flowers have a pleasant sweet scent.

Image Gallery for Creeping Lady's-tresses Goodyera repens


Pollination Taxonomy & Hybrids

The flowers are pollinated by bumblebees and other bees, which are rewarded with nectar.

The specific name repens means creeping.

No hybrids, subspecies or varieties are known to occur in Britain.

Articles about Autumn Lady's-tresses in JHOS