Autumn ladys-tresses

Spiranthes spiralis

''Spiranthes spiralis'', commonly known as autumn lady's-tresses, is an orchid that grows in Europe and adjacent North Africa and Asia.
Herbst-Wendelähre Spiranthes spiralis  Autumn ladys-tresses,Geotagged,Spiranthes spiralis,Summer,Switzerland

Appearance

Autumn lady's tresses is a polycarp, perennial, herbaceous plant that remains underground during its dormancy in summer with tubers. The species has thirty chromosomes.

It is a small grey-green plant. It forms a rosette of four to five pointed, sessile, ovate leaves about 3 cm in length. In late summer an unbranched stem of about 10–15 cm tall is produced with approximately four sheath-shaped leaves.

The white flowers are about 5 mm long and have a green spot on the lower lip. They are arranged in a helix around the upper half of the stalk.
Wild Ochrid Autumn lady's-tresses - Spiranthes spiralis  Asparagales,Autumn lady's-tresses,Autumn ladys-tresses,Central Macedonia,Europe,Fall,Flowering Plant,Geotagged,Greece,Lake Kerkini National Park,Magnoliophyta,Monocot,Nature,Orchidaceae,Plantae,Spiranthes spiralis,Wildlife

Status

The species is listed in Appendix II of CITES as a species that is not currently threatened with extinction but that may become so. Autumn lady's-tresses are legally protected in Belgium and the Netherlands.
Spiranthes spiralis Herbst-Wendelähre Leaf rosette Autumn ladys-tresses,Geotagged,Spiranthes spiralis,Spring,Switzerland

Habitat

It grows in dry grassy places such as meadows, garigue, heaths, and pine woodland, generally on calcareous soils. Autumn lady's tresses may be found on quite different substrates, from weathered chalk and limestone to sand and gravel in dunes and slightly acidic heathlands.

Occasionally, it has also been found on clay on sloping sites. It sometimes occurs in lawns, and was reported from the top of a wall in Sicily. Soils need to be low in nitrogen and phosphorus and neither dry nor wet.

The species occurs in different plant communities, most commonly in highly diverse ''Festuca ovina''–''Avenula pratensis'' grasslands that exist because of intense grazing by sheep or rabbits. These grasslands contain grasses, dicots, and mosses in different mixtures.

References:

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Taxonomy
KingdomPlantae
DivisionAngiosperms
ClassMonocots
OrderAsparagales
FamilyOrchidaceae
GenusSpiranthes
SpeciesS. spiralis