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Useful Temperate Plants

Spiranthes spiralis

(L.) Chevall.

Orchidaceae

+ Synonyms

Epipactis spiralis (L.) Crantz

Gyrostachys autumnalis (Balb.) Dumort.

Gyrostachys spiralis (L.) Kuntze

Ibidium spirale (L.) Salisb.

Neottia autumnalis (Balb.) Steud.

Neottia spiralis (L.) Sw.

Ophrys autumnalis Balb.

Ophrys spiralis L.

Serapias spiralis (L.) Scop.

Spiranthes autumnalis (Balb.) Rich.

Spiranthes glauca Raf.

Tussaca autumnalis (Balb.) Desv.

Common Name: Autumn Lady's Tresses

No Image.

General Information

Spiranthes spiralis is a perennial plant that can grow up to 20cm tall.
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine..

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

17
Title
Flora of the British Isles.
Publication
 
Author
Clapham, Tutin and Warburg.
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Year
1962
ISBN
-
Description
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.

Range

Eurasia - Britain and Denmark to Portugal, east to Ukraine, Caucasus and Iran, also western Himalayas; N. Africa - Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia

Habitat

Hilly pastures, downs, moist meadows and grassy coastal dunes, usually on a calcareous substratum[
17
Title
Flora of the British Isles.
Publication
 
Author
Clapham, Tutin and Warburg.
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Year
1962
ISBN
-
Description
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.
]. Dry hilly fields[
4
Title
A Modern Herbal.
Publication
 
Author
Grieve.
Publisher
Penguin
Year
1984
ISBN
0-14-046-440-9
Description
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
].

Properties

Medicinal Rating *  *
HabitPerennial
Height0.20 m
PollinatorsBees
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details


See the plants native habitat for ideas on its cultivation needs[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].
Orchids are, in general, shallow-rooting plants of well-drained low-fertility soils. Their symbiotic relationship with a fungus in the soil allows them to obtain sufficient nutrients and be able to compete successfully with other plants. They are very sensitive to the addition of fertilizers or fungicides since these can harm the symbiotic fungus and thus kill the orchid[
230
Title
Hardy Orchids. Orchids for the Garden and Frost-free Greenhouse.
Publication
 
Author
Cribb. P. & Bailes. C.
Publisher
Christopher Helm. London.
Year
1989
ISBN
0 7470 0416 1
Description
An excellent book looking at the orchids that can be grown outdoors in temperate climates and giving lots of information on how to grow them. Very lttle information on their uses.
].
This species is one of the commonest orchids in Britain, though it is often overlooked because it flowers so late. It sometimes naturalizes in lawns, especially where these overly a chalk substrate or a turf from chalky land has been used to make the lawn[
230
Title
Hardy Orchids. Orchids for the Garden and Frost-free Greenhouse.
Publication
 
Author
Cribb. P. & Bailes. C.
Publisher
Christopher Helm. London.
Year
1989
ISBN
0 7470 0416 1
Description
An excellent book looking at the orchids that can be grown outdoors in temperate climates and giving lots of information on how to grow them. Very lttle information on their uses.
].
In the evening the flowers diffuse a penetrating almond-like perfume like heliotrope[
245
Title
Scented Flora of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Genders. R.
Publisher
Robert Hale. London.
Year
1994
ISBN
0-7090-5440-8
Description
An excellent, comprehensive book on scented plants giving a few other plant uses and brief cultivation details. There are no illustrations.
].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

The tuberous root has been used as an aphrodisiac[
4
Title
A Modern Herbal.
Publication
 
Author
Grieve.
Publisher
Penguin
Year
1984
ISBN
0-14-046-440-9
Description
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
].

A tincture of the root is used as a homeopathic remedy[
4
Title
A Modern Herbal.
Publication
 
Author
Grieve.
Publisher
Penguin
Year
1984
ISBN
0-14-046-440-9
Description
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
]. It is used in the treatment of skin affections, painful breasts, pain in the kidneys and eye complaints[
4
Title
A Modern Herbal.
Publication
 
Author
Grieve.
Publisher
Penguin
Year
1984
ISBN
0-14-046-440-9
Description
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
].

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Seed - surface sow, preferably as soon as it is ripe, in the greenhouse and do not allow the compost to dry out. The seed of this species is extremely simple, it has a minute embryo surrounded by a single layer of protective cells. It contains very little food reserves and depends upon a symbiotic relationship with a species of soil-dwelling fungus. The fungal hyphae invade the seed and enter the cells of the embryo. The orchid soon begins to digest the fungal tissue and this acts as a food supply for the plant until it is able to obtain nutrients from decaying material in the soil[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. It is best to use some of the soil that is growing around established plants in order to introduce the fungus, or to sow the seed around a plant of the same species and allow the seedlings to grow on until they are large enough to move.
Division in autumn. Make sure that you keep plenty of soil with each plant. It is also said to be possible to transplant orchids after they have flowered but whilst they are still in leaf.
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2022-09-30. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Spiranthes+spiralis>

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