Spiranthes Rich.
  • De Orchid. Eur. 28–29, 36–37. 1817. (Aug.-Sept. 1817)
  • [Greek speira, coil, and anthos, flower, in allusion to the spirally arranged inflorescence]

Cite taxon page as 'WFO (2021): Spiranthes Rich. Published on the Internet;http://www.worldfloraonline.org/taxon/wfo-4000036112. Accessed on: 04 Dec 2021'

General Information

Herbs, perennial, terrestrial. Roots fleshy, fasciculate, slender to tuberous. Stems with foliaceous sheaths. Leaves basal or occasionally cauline. Inflorescences terminal spikes, flowers inserted in lax to dense, ± evident spiral, pubescent to glabrous, often glandular. Flowers resupinate, often somewhat apically recurved, white, cream, or yellow (pink in S. sinensis); perianth parts distinct or sepals basally connate, connivent; lip lanceolate to ovate or pandurate, rarely linear, fleshy to somewhat membranaceous, base with pair of calli, apex usually ± crisped; mentum or spur absent; column short, cylindric; anther cordate, apex acute or obtuse; pollinia clavate with slender viscidium; ovary sessile, cylindric.

  • Provided by: [C].Flora of North America @ efloras.org
    • Source: [
    • 1
    • ]. 

    Herbs, terrestrial, acaulescent. Roots fasciculate, fusiform, fleshy, glabrous. Leaves basal, forming a rosette, linear, elliptic, or broadly ovate, rarely subcylindric, base sheathing. Inflorescence terminal, racemose with many small flowers arranged spirally around rachis. Flowers resupinate, horizontal or nodding, not opening widely, small; ovary twisted, fusiform. Sepals free, narrowly elliptic to lanceolate, subsimilar; dorsal sepal erect, often connivent with petals and forming a hood; lateral sepals dilated or sometimes saccate at base. Petals erect, oblanceolate, recurved; lip entire or obscurely 3-lobed, shortly clawed, apex recurved, undulate, lateral margins embracing column; disk usually papillose, with 2 fleshy glands at base. Column clavate, ventrally pubescent; anther erect, 2-locular, on dorsal surface of column; pollinia 2, each 2-partite, granular-farinaceous, with or without short caudicle and attached to narrow viscidium; rostellum erect, 2-lobed at apex after removal of viscidium; stigma suborbicular to elliptic. Capsule ellipsoid.

  • Provided by: [B].Flora Of CHina @ efloras.org
    • Source: [
    • 2
    • ]. 


    Terrestres; tallos delicados, erectos, raíces fasciculadas, tuberosas o fusiformes, carnosas. Hojas a veces ausentes durante la floración, cuando presentes generalmente basales y arrosetadas, raras veces caulinares. Inflorescencia espiciforme, pauciflora o multiflora, generalmente densa, las flores más bien pequeñas y tubulares; sépalos similares, libres, conniventes, algo arqueado-patentes en el ápice, el sépalo dorsal cóncavo a cuculado, los sépalos laterales oblicuos; pétalos más o menos coherentes con el sépalo dorsal; labelo cortamente estipitado, con 2 lobos carnosos en la base, a veces sólo ligeramente contraído cerca de la mitad; columna corta, basalmente producida en un pie corto e incurvado, el rostelo en forma de cinta, residuo rostelar profundamente hendido, la antera dorsal, erecta, sésil o estipitada, polinios 2, clavados con un viscidio linear-oblongo.

    Género con ca 30 especies distribuidas en las regiones templadas de Norteamérica, Eurasia, en Australia, Nueva Caledonia y Nueva Zelanda, y pocas especies nativas de las regiones tropicales de Centroamérica, norte de Sudamérica, las Antillas, también desde Malasia hasta Nueva Guinea; 1 especie (Spiranthes torta) se encuentra en Nicaragua.

  • Provided by: [F].Flora de Nicaragua
    • Source: [
    • 3
    • ]. 

    Small, or rarely large, terrestrial (rarely epiphytic) herbs with basal or cauline leaves or both, or leafless. Roots often fleshy, fasciculated or tuberous. Leaves various, produced before, with, or after, the flowers. Sepals free; dorsal sepal usually erect and forming a galea with the petals; lateral ones erect or spreading, affixed to the summit of the ovary, decurrent and forming a free or adnate mentum. Petals usually narrow and usually coherent to the dorsal sepal. Lip sessile or clawed, plane, concave or gibbous, simple or lobed, in some species bi- caudate at the base, adherent to the column in almost all the species, ecallose or callose. Column terete; clinandrium often membranaceous and conspicuous, often continued into the rostellum; rostellum various, inconspicuous or conspicuous, truncate and retuse to lobed to aristate; anther dorsal, erect, sessile or stipitate; pollinia 2, powdery or granular, usually attenuated at one end.

  • Provided by: [D].Flora de Panama
    • Source: [
    • 4
    • 5
    • ]. 

    "Sep and lateral pet similar, the pet connivent with the upper sep (or with all the sep) and projecting forward over the lip and column; lip oblong or ovate to pandurate in outline, bearing 2 small callosities near the basal angles, its margins below the middle upturned and embracing the short column, the more distal part ± decurved, not crested or ridged, but often with a median area of different color; anther borne on the back of the column, its 4 pollinia attached to the viscidium and commonly surpassed by the bidentate or bifid rostellar beak; slender herbs with narrow (seldom broader), chiefly basal lvs, the erect stem bearing several reduced lvs (or mere sheaths) and a terminal, spirally twisted, spike-like raceme; fls mostly white or whitish at least in large part. (Ibidium) 300, cosmop. The fls decrease in size progressively from the bottom to the top of the infl. Measurements given here are for fls in the lower third. In spp. 1–5 the infl is ordinarily such a close spiral that the fls appear to be in 3 or 4 vertical, straight or somewhat spiral ranks. In spp. 6–11 the infl is typically more lax and open, with the fls obviously in a single long spiral, but some of these spp. vary to forms with the infl approaching that of the first group. A number of hybrids have been documented."

  • Provided by: [E].New York Botanical Garden
    • Source: [
    • 6
    • ]. 



    Catling, P. M. 1980b. Systematics of Spiranthes L. C. Richard in Northeastern North America. Ph.D. thesis. University of Toronto. Catling, P. M. 1981. Taxonomy of autumn-flowering Spiranthes species of southern Nova Scotia. Canad. J. Bot. 59: 1253–1270. Catling, P. M. 1982. Breeding systems of northeastern North American Spiranthes (Orchidaceae). Canad. J. Bot. 60: 3017–3039. Catling, P. M. and J. R. Brown. 1983. Morphometrics and ecological isolation in sympatric Spiranthes (Orchidaceae) in southwestern Ontario. Canad. J. Bot. 61: 2747–2759.

  • Provided by: [C].Flora of North America @ efloras.org
    • Source: [
    • 1
    • ]. 

    Other Local Names

    [Greek speira, coil, and anthos, flower, in allusion to the spirally arranged inflorescence]

     Information From

    MBG Floras Images
    Flora images. Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed on Jun. 2018.
    • A Missouri Botanical Garden
    Flora Of CHina @ efloras.org
    'Flora of China @ eFloras (2008). Published on the Internet http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=2 [accessed August 2016]' Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
    • B Missouri Botanical Garden
    Flora of North America @ efloras.org
    'Flora of North America @ eFloras (2008). Published on the Internet http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=1 [accessed August 2016]' Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
    • C Flora of North America Association
    Flora de Panama
    Robert E. Woodson, Jr. and Robert W. Schery Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden Vol. 67, No. 4 (1980), pp. ii-xxxiii
    • D Missouri Botanical Garden
    New York Botanical Garden
    Descriptions of plants should be attributed to the full citation for each individual article, chapter or book that is the source for each record, which should include the authors of original publication.
    • E Content licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
    Flora de Nicaragua
    WD Stevens, CU Ulloa, A Pool and OM Montiel. Missouri Botanical Garden Press, 2001
    • F Missouri Botanical Garden
    • G CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).
    World Flora Online consortium
    World Flora Online Data. 2018.
    • H CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).