Spiranthes sinensis

Spiranthes sinensis (Pers.) Ames

Languages: English


General Description

Plants 30-40 cm tall. Rhizome, bearing fascicle roots and leaves. Leaves linear-oblong, 5-15 cm long, becoming much longer in tall grass clumps, 5-8 mm wide, fleshy, apex acute, base truncate in radicle ones and attenuate in cauline ones, with 3 main veins, veinlets reticulate. Peduncle 1-4, glabrous, 10-35 cm tall, with 2-3 sterile bracts; rachis 5-15 cm long, with few to many spirally arranged flowers; floral bracts lanceolate. Flowers white or pink; ovary pale green, curved at apex; sepals narrowly lanceolate, 4.5-5 mm long, dorsal one concave at base, lateral ones oblique and slightly gibbose at base; petals oblanceolate, 3.5-4 mm long; lip separated from column base, oblong when expanded, concave and short clawed at base, bearing 2 clavate calli at each side, erect and slightly inflexed at middle, ovate or rounded at apex, apex recurved, with crispate margins, disc hairy; column erect, clavate, 1.8-2.1 mm long; anther broadly ovoid, 0.7 mm long; pollinia ca. 1mm long; stigma orbicular, slightly convex; rostellum thin, triangular-lanceolate, lower margins toothed; viscidium narrowly oblong.

Author(s): Wen, Jun
Rights holder(s): Wen, Jun



The chromosomal number of Spiranthes sinensis is 2n = 30 (Terasaka et al., 1979; Martinez, 1985; Aoyama et al., 1992; Rudyka, 1995).

Author(s): Wen, Jun
Rights holder(s): Wen, Jun

Ecology and Distribution


Flowering from July to August.

Author(s): Wen, Jun
Rights holder(s): Wen, Jun


Spiranthes sinensis is occurring in Siberia, China, Japan, Indochina, India, Malay Peninsula and the Philippines southward to New Zealand and Tasmania.

Author(s): Wen, Jun
Rights holder(s): Wen, Jun


Molecular variations of Spiranthes sinensis Ames var. australis (R.Br.) H. Hara et Kitam. ex Kitam. was examined using the trnL-F sequence. Sequence differences in S. sinensis var. australis from Sabah, Malaysia, clearly differed from that of Japanese S. sinensis var. australis, suggesting genetic heterogeneity of Spiranthes sinensis var. australis in Asia. Molecular analysis based on the sequences of nuclear ITS1 regions indicated that there are two major groups of S. sinensis var. australis in Japan, with a geographic distribution boundary on Kyushu Island (Tsukaya, 2005).

Author(s): Wen, Jun
Rights holder(s): Wen, Jun


Growing in moist grasslands, roadsides, slopes, along rivers; below 3400 m.

Author(s): Wen, Jun
Rights holder(s): Wen, Jun


  • Neottia sinensis Pers. (synonym)
  • Neottia australis R. Br. (synonym)
  • Neottia amoena M. v. Bied. (synonym)
  • Spiranthes australis Lindl. (synonym)
  • Spiranthes amoena (M. v. Bieb.) Spreng (synonym)
  • Spiranthes australis (R. Br.) Lindl. var. suishaensis Hayata (synonym)
  • Spiranthes suishaensis Schltr (synonym)
  • Spiranthes sinensis var. amoena (M. v. Bieb.) H. Hara (synonym)


Aoyama, M., Chen S., Zhang D., & Tanaka R. (1992).  Chromosome numbers of some species of the Orchidaceae from China. (NakataM., Ed.).Journal of Japanese Botany. 67,
Martinez, A. (1985).  The chromosomes of orchids VIII. Spiranthinae and Cranichidinae. Kew Bulletin. 40,
Rudyka, E. G. (1995).  Chromosome numbers in vascular plants from the southern part of the Russian Far East. Botaničeskij Žurnal (Moscow & Leningrad). 80,
Terasaka, O., Niitsu T., & Tanaka R. (1979).  Single fertilization in Spiranthes sinensis. Botanical Magazine. 92,
Tsukaya, H. (2005).  Molecular variation of Spiranthes sinensis (Orchidaceae) in Japan, with special reference to systematic treatment of seasonally differentiated groups and a dwarf form, f. gracilis, from Yakushima Island. Journal of Plant Research. 118,