Spiranthes torta

(Thunberg) Garay & H. R. Sweet

in R. A. Howard, Fl. Less. Antill. 1: 77. 1974.

Basionym: Ophrys torta Thunberg Mus. Nat. Acad. Upsal. 9: 136. 1791
Synonyms: Ibidium tortile (Swartz) House Spiranthes tortilis (Swartz) Richard
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 26. Treatment on page 537. Mentioned on page 532, 533.

Plants 7–50 cm. Roots few, spreading to descending, slender to somewhat tuberous, mostly to 1 cm diam. Leaves fugacious, 2 or 3, basal, reduced to bracts on stem, ascending, narrowly oblanceolate, 5–20 × 0.5 cm. Spikes secund to loosely spiraled, 8–10 flowers per cycle of spiral; rachis sparsely pubescent, some trichomes capitate, glands obviously stalked. Flowers nodding, white; sepals elliptic, 5 × 1 mm; lateral sepals distinct to base, curving slightly downward, oblique; petals green at base, oblique, elliptic, 5 × 1.5 mm; lip green with white apex, ovate, 4 × 2 mm; veins parallel; basal calli very short, stout, to 0.3 mm; viscidium linear-lanceolate; ovary mostly 3 mm. Seeds monoembryonic.

Phenology: Flowering May–Jul.
Habitat: Dry pinelands
Elevation: 0–10 m


V26 1092-distribution-map.jpg

Fla., West Indies (Bahamas), Bermuda, Central America.


Spiranthes torta is restricted to the rocky pinelands in southern Florida and is easily recognized by its nodding flowers and downward-pointing lateral sepals. It could only be confused with S. tuberosa, typically a much shorter plant with pure white flowers.

Spiranthes amesiana Schlechter is often included as a synonym of S. torta; recent studies indicate that it may be a distinct species. It is said to differ from S. torta in its denser inflorescence, spade-shaped lip with a crenulate-ciliate margin, and densely pubescent basal calli. Within the area covered by the flora, it is restricted to extreme southern Florida; it also has been collected in the Bahamas and Nicaragua.

Selected References


Lower Taxa

... more about "Spiranthes torta"
Charles J. Sheviak +  and Paul Martin Brown +
(Thunberg) Garay & H. R. Sweet +
Ophrys torta +
Fla. +, West Indies (Bahamas) +, Bermuda +  and Central America. +
0–10 m +
Dry pinelands +
Flowering May–Jul. +
in R. A. Howard, Fl. Less. Antill. +
Ibidium tortile +  and Spiranthes tortilis +
Spiranthes torta +
Spiranthes +
species +