Spiranthes sinensis

Spiranthes sinensis (Pers.) Ames, Orchidaceae 2 (1908) 53

Basionym: Neottia sinensis

Terrestrial herb 8-40 cm tall. Roots fleshy, tuberous, cylindrical, hairy. Leaves mostly basal, varying greatly in size and shape, oblong-elliptic to linear-elliptic, up to 20 by 1 cm, often smaller. Inflorescence terminal, erect, slender, rather densely or subdensely many-flowered. Flowers arranged spirally on the rachis, probably self-pollinating, scented, semi-open. Median sepal ovate, 0.32-0.4 by 0.14 cm. Lateral sepals oblong-lanceolate, 0.32-0.43 by 0.1 cm. Petals forming a hood with the median sepal, oblong-oblanceolate, slightly shorter than the dorsal sepal, 0.3 by 0.07 cm. Lip obovate in outline, obscurely 3-lobed at apex, slightly longer than the sepals, 0.45 by 0.3 cm, the lateral lobes semi-ovate, erect, the mid-lobe subcircular with an undulate-crispate margin, lip at the base with 2 fleshy, subglobose calli. (After Lewis & Cribb, 1991)

Colours: Flower translucent pearly white tinged pinkish magenta on apical half, with a translucent white lip tinged pinkish magenta near the apex; column green.

Habitat: Terrestrial in lowland to subalpine grassland, often in swampy places, rarely in forest; 75 to 3225 m.

Flowering time in the wild: Flowering observed in every month of the year.

Distribution: Malesia (Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Sulawesi, Lesser Sunda Islands, Moluccas, New Guinea, Philippines), Thailand, ?Cambodia, ?Laos, Vietnam, tropical and subtropical Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Samoa.

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Indonesia); Papua New Guinea. See map: 654-31M.JPG.

Cultivation: Intermediate growing terrestrial, requires light position.