Common name: Ladies' Tresses
Spiranthes australis (R.Br.) Lindl. APNI*
Synonyms: Spiranthes sinensis subsp. australis (R.Br.) Kitam. APNI*
Spiranthes alticola D.L.Jones APNI*
Spiranthes sinensis auct. non (Pers.) Ames APNI*
Description: Slender terrestrial herb, 16–50 cm high.
Leaves 3–10, basal, narrow- to broad-linear, 4–10 cm long, passing into 2 or 3 stem bracts.
Flowers bright pink in a dense spiral spike; subtending bracts pubescent. Perianth segments 4–5 mm long. Labellum mostly white, very concave above; margins entire near the base, then fringed and crisped; lamina with 2 ovoid glands at base. Column much shorter than the labellum. Stigma U-shaped; pollinia narrow-pyriform.
Flowering: Flowers mainly Nov.–Mar., but sometimes later.
Distribution and occurrence: Usually grows in marshy or boggy places; widespread, from coastal districts inland to Molong area.
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC, SC, NT, CT, ST, CWS, SWS
Other Australian states: Qld Vic. Tas. S.A.
Text by P. Bernhardt
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.