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Spiranthes spiralis for confirmation : 6 posts by 4 authors. Attachments (6) – around 800 kb each.

Spiranthes spiralis
Family – Orchidaceae
To me this hairy white flowered Spiranthes looks close to Spiranthes spiralis.
But still I am not sure as Spiranthes is a complex genus with some newly described species from Himalayas like S.himalayensis.
I hope orchid experts like … sir will help to confirm it.
The plants are found growing in association with Epipactis veratrifolia and Equisetum sp. in marshy fields.
Altitude – 750metres amsl
From Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh
Dated – 27/4/2018

Why not Spiranthes sinensis ?

This can be S. himalayensis or a hairy form of S. sinensis but can’t confirm without dissecting.
Thanks a lot for sharing.


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Spiranthes australis from Himachal Pradesh-GS16012022-5: 6 very high res. images.
Spiranthes australis clicked from along Bhangayani Temple Nohradhar Road, Himachal Pradesh, 25-5-2015


As per efi thread:
In Flora of British India the species was described under the name Spiranthes australis (R. Br.) Lindl., A species name (rather combination) proposed in 1824, based on Neottia australis R. Br. (1810), a species supposed to have pubescent inflorescence spike (it is also supposed to have pubescent bracts and floral parts partly as I read from other sources).
Spiranthes sinensis (Pers.) Ames, is a name (rather combination) given in 1908, based on Neottia sinensis Pers. (1807), a species described from China and differing in glabrous spikes (and bracts and floral parts).
It has recently been considered by most authors (including Flora of China, Flora of Pakistan, etc.) that these two taxa are synonyms, and as basionym of latter is dated earlier, Spiranthes sinensis is accepted name.
It must be remembered that it is matter of taxonomic judgement (and not a simple issue of names), as the two species were originally described as distinct species (they have distinct types). For those who consider the differences are not enough would treat them under single species S. sinensis. Those who think (like original authors) that differences are sufficient, and are also trying to detect further differences to strengthen their distinct identity, would consider them as two separate species. I think … is just trying to do that, trying to settle the riddle, and he being a world renowned Orchid specialist is both qualified to do that. More so he owes the duty of resolving it for us. Let us appreciate that.


Flora of China also supports this.


Spiranthes australis is not found in India. It is not easy to confirm this. Recently Spiranthes hongkongensis was reported from Nepal so there are chances of having it in India too. Some details needed to confirm.
Please check the pdf attached.
1 pdf


Thanks … for bringing up old interesting conversation (now locked). Only Pankaj can resolve it for us. I have 22 more images which I can share with … if he wants: But these do suggest S. himalayensis:

1. Flowering (clicked) in May (vs flowering August to Septtember in India in S. sinensis)
2. I can see densely pubescent inflorescence with some glandular hairs (vs pubescent to glabrous in S. sinensis)
3. Flower completely white (vs pink or purple, tip sometimes white in S. sinensis)
More of course … would give final verdict.

Since S. sinensis and S. australis are now treated as distinct species according to POWO (synonyms acoording to both eFlora of China and eFlora of Pakistan), I chanced upon this 2020 paper published in Acta Phytotax Geobot

It further confuses me as it says “the stems, inflorescence and ovaries of S. australis are generally pubescent, whereas those of S. sinensis are reported to be glabrous. … please resolve


Please check the pdf I attached last time.
S. sinensis comes in both glabrous and hairy forms. We have seen both and checked DNA too. They are exactly same as per DNA.
To me this was a surprise. Thats why I dislike DNA studies so much. How can one with and the other without hairs have same DNA!!

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