(pronounced: spy-RAN-theez)


Cranichideae subtribe Spiranthinae

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From the Greek speira, meaning coil, and anthos, meaning flower, referring to the spirally arranged flowers of most species.


A cosmopolitan genus of about 30 species with the greatest diversity in boreal regions. Once broadly defined, most tropical species formerly included in Spiranthes have been placed in separate genera such as Pelexia, Sarcoglottis, and Stenorrhynchos.

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Antlfinger, A. E. and L. F. Wendel 1997. Reproductive effort and floral photosynthesis in Spiranthes cernua (Orchidaceae). Amer. J. Bot. 84(6):769-780.

Beckner, J. 1996. Spiranthes sinensis (Persoon) Ames found in Florida. North Amer. Native Orchid. J. 2(2):154-157.

Case, F. W. and P. M. Catling 1983. The genus Spiranthes in Michigan. Michigan Bot. 22:79-92.

Catling, P. M. 1978. Taxonomic notes on Spiranthes casei Catling and Cruise and S. x intermedia Ames. Rhodora 80:377-389.

Catling, P. M. 1981. Taxonomy of autumn-flowering Spiranthes species of southern Nova Scotia. Canad. J. Bot. 59(7):1253-1270.

Catling, P. M. 1982. Breeding systems of southeastern North American Spiranthes (Orchidaceae). Canad. J. Bot. 60(12):3017-3039.

Catling, P. M. 1983. Pollination of northeastern North American Spiranthes (Orchidaceae). Canad. J. Bot. 61(4):1080-1093.

Catling, P. M. and K. L. McIntosh 1979. Rediscovery of Spiranthes parksii Correll. Sida 8(2):188-193.

Correll, D. S. 1947. A new Spiranthes from Texas. Amer. Orchid Soc. Bull. 16(7):400-401.

Corrias, S. D. and R. Villa 1985. Embryology and embryogenesis of Spiranthes L. C. M. Richard (Orchidaceae): S. spiralis (L.) Cheval and S. aestivalis (Piret) L. C. M. Richard. G. Bot. Ital. 117(5-6):193-200.

Gulliver, R. L. 1996. The status of Spiranthes romanzoffiana Cham. (Orchidaceae), Irish lady’s tresses, on Colonsay (V.C. 102) in 1995 with special reference to associated plant communities. Watsonia 21(2):202-204.

Hatusima, S. 1968. On the Japanese Spiranthes or Ladies’ Traces. J. Geobot. 16(3):80-81.

Larson, R. J. and K. S. Larson 1987. Observations on the pollination biology of Spiranthes romanzoffiana. Lindleyana 2(4):176-179.

McClaran, M. P. 1996. Encounters with the elusive ladies’-tresses orchid: Spiranthes delitescens. North Amer. Native Orchid J. 2(2):159-176.

Morris, M. W. 1989. Spiranthes (Orchidaceae) in Mississippi. Selbyana 11:39-48.

Schmidt, J. M. and A. E. Antlfinger 1992. The level of agamospermy in a Nebraska population of Spiranthes cernua (Orchidaceae). Amer. J. Bot. 79:501-507.

Sheviak, C. J. 1982. Biosystematic study of the Spiranthes cernua complex. Bull. New York State Mus. 448:1-73.

Sheviak, C. J. 1984. Spiranthes diluvialis (Orchidaceae), a new species from the western United States. Brittonia 36(1):8-14.

Sheviak, C. J. 1989. A new Spiranthes (Orchidaceae) from Ash Meadows, Nevada. Rhodora 91:225-234.

Sheviak, C. J. 1990. A new Spiranthes (Orchidaceae) from the Cienegas of southernmost Arizona. Rhodora 92:213-231.

Sheviak, C. J. 1991. Morphological variation in the compilospecies Spiranthes cernua (L.) L. C. Rich.: ecologically-limited effects of gene flow. Lindleyana 6:228-234.

Sheviak, C. J. 1992. Morphological variation in the compilospecies Spiranthes cernua (L.) L. C. Rich.: ecologically-limited effects of gene flow. Lindleyana 6(4):235-240.

Simpson, R. C. and P. M. Catling 1978. Spiranthes lacera var. lacera ? S. romanzoffiana, a new natural hybrid orchid from Ontario. Canadian Field-Naturalist 92(4):350-358.

Sun, M. 1996. The allopolyploid origin of Spiranthes hongkongensis (Orchidaceae). Amer. J. Bot. 83(2):252-260.

Wells, T. C. E. 1967. Changes in a population of Spiranthes spiralis (L.) Chevall. at Knocking Hoe National Nature Reserve, Bedfordshire, 1962-1965. J. Ecol. 55:83-99.

Wendel, L. F. and A. E. Antlfinger 1996. Characteristics of leaf photosynthesis in Spiranthes cernua: a field study. Lindleyana 11(1):1-11.