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Asian Ladies-Tresses
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Asian Ladies-Tresses
P Native Photo: Dony Kokii
Common name: Asian Ladies-Tresses
Botanical name: Spiranthes australis    Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)
Synonyms: Spiranthes sinensis var. australis, Spiranthes amoena

Asian Ladies-Tresses is a terrestrial orchid up to 30 cm tall, with linear to linear-lanceshaped leaves, and inflorescence velvet-hairy. Flowers are borne in a nearly one-sided to moderately tightly coiled spiral, bell-shaped, held perpendicular to the flower-cluster-stalk, white to deep magenta-red. Sepals are velvet-hairy. Dorsal sepal slightly to moderately upwardly recurved distally, lanceshaped, bluntly tapering, 4.2-5.6 mm long, 1.1-1.6 mm wide when flattened. Lateral sepals are lanceshaped, pointed, slightly oblique at about halfway down the length, the tips often surpassing the lip margin in profile, 3.3-6.8 mm long, 1-1.7 mm wide. Petals are lanceshaped, bluntly pointed, slightly to strongly recurved at tips, with the dorsal sepal appearing star-shaped. Lip is recurved downward at about two-thirds the distance from the claw to lip tip, oblong to slightly constricted near the reflextion and then dilating below, centrally papillate, margin entire to slightly undulating from he base until the area of recurvature, below point of recurvature margin becoming ruffled and lacerate. Lip is 3.4-4.4 mm long, 1.8-3.7 mm wide below the callosities, 1.2-2.3 mm wide at the area of recurvature when flattened, 1.2-2.3 mm wide at widest point below recurvature. Column is white dorsally, green ventrally, 1.7-3.0 mm long, stout. Asian Ladies-Tresses is found throughout Asia, from Siberia in the north to Australia down south.

Identification credit: Ashutosh Sharma Photographed in Shillong, Meghalaya.

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