Spiranthes – Chi Spiranthes

    Spiranthes - Chi Spiranthes Spiranthes aquaticum genus freshwater aquarium plants 600 x 600
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    Spiranthe d'automne MHNT.jpg  Spiranthes - Chi Spiranthes 220px Spiranthe d 27automne MHNT
    Spiranthes spiralis
    Scientific classification
    Kingdom: Plantae
    (unranked): Angiosperms
    (unranked): Monocots
    Order: Asparagales
    Family: Orchidaceae
    Subfamily: Orchidoideae
    Tribe: Cranichideae
    Subtribe: Spiranthinae
    Genus: Spiranthes
    Rich., 1817
    Type species
    Ophrys spiralis = Spiranthes spiralis
    (L.) Chevall. 1827
    See text.

    Spiranthes is a genus of orchids in the subfamily Orchidoideae. They are known commonly as ladies tresses, ladies’-tresses, or lady’s tresses.[1] The genus is distributed in the Americas, Eurasia, and Australia.[2] The genus name Spiranthes is derived from the Greek speira (“coil”) and anthos (“flower”), and was inspired by the spirally arranged inflorescence.[2]


    • 1Description
    • 2Systematics
      • 2.1Diversity
      • 2.2Taxonomy
    • 3References
    • 4External links


    These are perennial herbs growing from fleshy root systems that are sometimes thick and appear tuberous. Most of the leaves are basal, but some species have leaves higher on the stem before the inflorescence matures, often taking the form of a sheath around the stem. The inflorescence is a terminal spike with flowers arranged in a loose or dense spiral. As in most other orchids, the flowers are resupinate, twisting during development into an upside-down position. The six tepals may be separate, or the three upper may be joined to form a hood over the lip petal. The lip is pouched and is thin to somewhat fleshy. The flowers are usually white, cream, yellow, scarlet or red, and at least one species has pink flowers.[2][3]



    Spiranthes - Chi Spiranthes 220px Spiranthes romanzoffiana 2


    Spiranthes romanzoffiana

    There are about 42[4] to 45[2] species in the genus.

    Species include:[1][2][5][6]

    • Spiranthes australis – Austral ladies tresses (eastern Australia)
    • Spiranthes aestivalis (Poir.) Rich. (1817) – summer-flowering spiranthes (western & central Europe to northwestern Africa)
    • Spiranthes angustilabris J.J.Sm. (1913) (New Guinea)
    • Spiranthes brevilabris Lindl. (1840) – Texas ladies’-tresses (southeastern USA)
    • Spiranthes casei Catling & Cruise (1974) – Case’s ladies’-tresses (eastern Canada & USA)
      • Spiranthes casei var. casei
      • Spiranthes casei var. novaescotiae Catling (1981) (Nova Scotia)
    • Spiranthes cernua (L.) Rich. (1817) – nodding ladies’-tresses (eastern Canada & USA)
    • Spiranthes delitescens[7]Sheviak (1990) – reclusive ladies’-tresses (Arizona)
    • Spiranthes diluvialis Sheviak (1984) – Ute’s ladies’-tresses (northwestern USA)
    • Spiranthes eatonii Ames ex P.M.Br. (1999) – Eaton’s ladies’-tresses (southeastern USA)
    • Spiranthes graminea Lindl. (1840) – Canelo ladies’-tresses (Arizona, Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua)
    • Spiranthes hongkongensis[8]S.Y.Hu & Barretto (1976) (Hong Kong)
    • Spiranthes infernalis Sheviak (1989) – Ash Meadows ladies’-tresses (Nevada)
    • Spiranthes lacera (Raf.) Raf. (1833) – northern slender ladies’-tresses (central and eastern Canada & USA)
      • Spiranthes lacera var. gracilis
      • Spiranthes lacera var. lacera
    • Spiranthes laciniata (Small) Ames (1905) – lace-lipped ladies’-tresses (eastern USA)
    • Spiranthes longilabris Lindl. (1840) – giant-spiral ladies’-tresses (southeastern USA)
    • Spiranthes lucida (H.H.Eaton) Ames (1908) – shining ladies’-tresses (eastern Canada & USA)
    • Spiranthes magnicamporum Sheviak (1973) – Great Plains ladies’-tresses (central and eastern Canada & USA)
    • Spiranthes nebulorum Catling & V.R.Catling (1988) (Mexico, Guatemala)
    • Spiranthes ochroleuca (Rydb.) Rydb. (1932) – yellow nodding ladies’-tresses (eastern Canada & USA)
    • Spiranthes odorata (Nutt.) Lindl. (1840) – fragrant ladies’-tresses, marsh ladies’-tresses (southeastern USA)
    • Spiranthes ovalis Lindl. (1840) – October ladies’-tresses (eastern Canada & USA)
      • Spiranthes ovalis var. erostellata Catling (1983)
      • Spiranthes ovalis var. ovalis Lindl.
    • Spiranthes parksii Correll (1947) – Navasota ladies’-tresses (Texas)
    • Spiranthes porrifolia Lindl. (1840) – leek-leaved ladies’-tresses, creamy ladies’-tresses (western USA)
    • Spiranthes praecox (Walter) S.Watson in A.Gray (1890) – early-blooming spiranthes, green-vein ladies’-tresses (eastern USA)
    • Spiranthes pusilla (Blume) Miq. (1859) (Sumatra)
    • Spiranthes romanzoffiana Cham. (1828) – hooded ladies’-tresses (British Isles, North America)
    • Spiranthes sinensis (Pers.) Ames (1908) – Chinese spiranthes (Eurasia, Pacific)
      • Spiranthes sinensis f. autumnus Tsukaya (2005) (Japan)
    • Spiranthes spiralis (L.) Chevall. (1827) – autumn ladies-tresses, spiraled spiranthes (Europe, Asia)
    • Spiranthes sunii[8]Boufford & Wen H. Zhang 2008 (Gansu)
    • Spiranthes torta (Thunb.) Garay & H.R.Sweet in R.A.Howard (1974) – southern ladies’-tresses (Florida, Caribbean, Mexico, Central America)
    • Spiranthes tuberosa Raf. (1833) – little ladies’-tresses (eastern USA)
    • Spiranthes vernalis Engelm. & A.Gray (1845) – spring ladies’-tresses (North America, Guatemala)

    Hybrids include:

    • Spiranthes × intermedia Ames (1903) (eastern Canada & USA)
    • Spiranthes × itchetuckneensis P.M.Br. (1999) (Florida)
    • Spiranthes × simpsonii Catling & Sheviak (1993) (eastern Canada & USA)


    This genus has undergone many taxonomic changes. Spiranthes once contained all the species from the subtribe Spiranthinae. In 1920, Spiranthes was split into 24 genera.[9] Revisions in 1951[10] and 1958[11] placed more species into the genus. During the 1990s it was divided again.[12]

    It is difficult to clearly define the species of this taxon because some of them are polymorphic, taking a number of different forms.[13] There is a species complex involving S. cernua, a “facultatively agamospermic polyploid compilospecies”[14] which takes many forms that appear well-separated at times and have been mistaken for new species. An example might be S. parksii, a member of the complex and probably a descendent of S. cernua. It has been suggested that this species is just another rare form.[15][13]


    1. ^ Jump up to:ab Spiranthes. Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS).
    2. ^ Jump up to:abcde Spiranthes. Flora of North America.
    3. Jump up^ Spiranthes. The Jepson eFlora 2013.
    4. Jump up^ Spiranthes. New South Wales Flora Online. National Herbarium, Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney.
    5. Jump up^ GRIN Species Records of Spiranthes.
    6. Jump up^ Spiranthes. USDA PLANTS.
    7. Jump up^ Sheviak, C. (1990). A new Spiranthes (Orchidaceae) from the cienegas of southernmost Arizona. Rhodora 92 213–31.
    8. ^ Jump up to:ab Spiranthes. Flora of China.
    9. Jump up^ Schlechter, R. (1920). Versuch einer systematischen Neuordnung der Spiranthinae. Beih. Bot. Centralbl. 37 317–454. (in German)
    10. Jump up^ Williams, L. O. The Orchidaceae of Mexico – 4 Volumes. Ceiba Tegucigalpa. 1951.
    11. Jump up^ Schweinfurth, C. Orchids of Peru. Fieldiana Bot. 30 1–260. 1958.
    12. Jump up^ Szlachetko, D. L. (1996). Studies on Spirantheae Orchidaceae: I. Varia. Fragmenta Floristica et Geobotanica 41(2), 845-63.
    13. ^ Jump up to:ab Dueck, L. A. and K. M. Cameron, K. M. (2007). Sequencing re-defines Spiranthesrelationships, with implications for rare and endangered taxa. Lankesteriana 7(1-2), 190-95.
    14. Jump up^ Spiranthes cernua. Flora of North America.
    15. Jump up^ Spiranthes parksii. Flora of North America.

    External links

    • Spiranthes - Chi Spiranthes 12px Commons logo Media related to Spiranthes at Wikimedia Commons
    • Spiranthes - Chi Spiranthes 14px Wikispecies logo Data related to Spiranthes at Wikispecies