The water-spider orchid is an emersed plant. It is a true native orchid. Water-spider orchid occurs on marshy shores and sometimes in floating mats of vegetation. There are five species of Habenaria in Florida (Wunderlin, 2003). Water-spider orchid exists in southeast U.S. and PR (Kartesz, 1999).
The water-spider orchid spreads by runners as well as seeds. It is erect, growing to one or two feet tall. Its leaves are thick and succulent, two to nine inches long and up to one inch wide. The leaves are narrowly lance-shaped, tapering to a narrow point. The most conspicuous part is its stalk of flowers that occurs at the top of the plant. The small flowers are pale green, to 3/4 inch across. The petals are narrow, making the flowers resemble small green spiders.