Spiranthes australis

Austral Ladies Tresses

Erect tufted perennial herb with slender green stem growing from long tubers. Several small sheathing bracts on stem.

Additional information

  • SynonymSpiranthes sinensis
  • FamilyOrchidaceae
  • StoreyLower storey
  • Size25-50 cm high
  • Plant groupingOrchids
  • LeavesTuft of 3-5 erect dark green leaves 3-18 cm long.
  • Flower colourLight to deep pink with white labellum
  • Flowering timeDecember to March
  • FlowersSpike of perfumed tubular flowers spiralling densely up the stem; lip (labellum) margins curled and fringed or toothed.
  • Bird attractingNo
  • Butterfly attractingNo
  • Frog habitatNo
  • Growing conditionsMoist to wet soils in swampy sites and seasonally inundated creek banks.
  • Garden useUse of orchids in gardens is not recommended, unless they already occur naturally, in which case they need to be protected. Removing orchids from the bush usually results in their death and further depletes remaining wild orchid populations.
  • Commercially availableRarely
  • Conservation statusSignificant within the Shire. Known from very few local sites and fast disappearing.
  • Aboriginal Use Food - tuber
Photographer/s: 1, 4 Neil Blair, Royal Botanic Gardens Board ©; 2 Cathy Powers ©; 3 Richard Hartlands ©

Plant Communities

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  • 11 Manna Gum Riparian Forest - Central Highlands (EVC 18)
  • 34 Manna Gum Floodplain Riparian Woodland (EVC 56)
  • 12 Manna Gum Riparian Forest - Dandenongs (EVC 18)
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