Genus Spiranthes

Spiranthes Rich.,
Orchid. Europ. Annot. (1817) 28

Sympodial terrestrial plants. Stem arising from a cluster of very fleshy roots. Leaves few, in a basal rosette, sheathing at the base, glabrous, persistent, convolute, herbaceous. Inflorescence terminal, a many-flowered raceme. Flowers small, closely spaced, arranged in a spiral, resupinate, white or pink. Sepals free. Petals free, narrower than the sepals. Lip without spur, not mobile, at the base with two warts. Column-foot absent. Pollinia 2, mealy, caudicles present, stipe absent, viscidium present.

North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Pacific islands, east to Samoa; about 30 species.

Distribution in the Philippines
Luzon (Mt. Province, Benguet), Mindanao (Agusan); 1 species [Spiranthes sinensis (Pers.) Ames].

Terrestrial in montane grassland.

The small flowers arranged in a dense spiral clearly characterise Spiranthes. It is occasionally seen in cultivation, sometimes even as a weed in containers with other orchids.