Description: Terrestrial herbs [or rarely humus epiphytes], sympodial; roots subterranean, usually fleshy.
Leaves mostly basal, 2 or more per shoot, convolute, [rarely petiolate].
Inflorescence racemose, usually many-flowered, terminal; flowers resupinate. Sepals and lateral petals usually of similar length, the dorsal sepal and lateral petals commonly clasping the column. Labellum free, attached by a short claw at base of column; lamina not lobed but margins near apex commonly toothed or pleated and curving downwards, trough-like, with 2 glands at base. Column lacking free filament and style; column wings fused to column, diverse in shape. Column foot absent. Anther erect, parallel to the axis of the column, persistent. Pollinia 4, granular. Stigma entire. Rostellum apical.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 42 species, Europe, Asia., America, Australia. Australia: 1 species (native).
Text by P. Bernhardt
|One species in NSW: Spiranthes australis|