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Spiranthes commonly known as Ladies-Tresses is a genus of orchids belonging to the orchid family.

Image of Spiranthes plant at Google

Spiranthes is a genus of orchids belonging to the orchid family, Orchidaceae. Spiranthes is commonly known as Ladies’-tresses. These orchids belong to the subfamily Orchidoideae. It is found in Europe, North Africa, Asia, Australia, New Guinea, the Americas and the Caribbean.

It is a provincially endangered orchid, in North America. They are found to grow in meadows, fields and savannas. These orchids are known to grow up to a height of 12 to 38 cm (4.5 to 15 inches). This genus consists of perennial, terrestrial orchids. They have clustered, tuberous or rarely fibrous, fleshy roots.

Some species are:
– Spiranthes aestivalis (Poir.) Rich. (1817) : Summer-flowering Spiranthes (Western & Central Europe to NW. Africa)
– Spiranthes angustilabris J.J.Sm. (1913) (New Guinea)
– Spiranthes brevilabris Lindl. (1840) : Texas Ladies’-tresses (SE. U.S.A. to East Texas)
– Spiranthes brevilabris var. brevilabris
– Spiranthes brevilabris var. floridana (Wherry) Luer (1972).
– Spiranthes casei Catling & Cruise (1974 publ. 1975) : Case’s ladies’-tresses (Eastern Canada to NE. U.S.A.)
– Spiranthes casei var. casei
– Spiranthes casei var. novaescotiae Catling (1981) (Nova Scotia)
– Spiranthes cernua (L.) Rich. (1817) : Nodding Ladies’-tresses (Eastern Canada to Central & Eastern U.S.A.)
– Spiranthes delitescens Sheviak (1990) : Reclusive Ladies’-tresses (Arizona)
– Spiranthes diluvialis Sheviak (1984) : Ute’s Ladies’-tresses (NW. U.S.A. to Nebraska)
– Spiranthes eatonii Ames ex P.M.Br. (1999) : Eaton’s Ladies’-tresses (SE. U.S.A. to E. Texas)
– Spiranthes graminea Lindl. in G.Bentham (1840) : Canelo Ladies’-tresses (Arizona, Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua)
– Spiranthes hongkongensis S.Y.Hu & Barretto (1976)(Hong Kong)
– Spiranthes infernalis Sheviak (1989): Ash Meadows Ladies’-tresses (Nevada)
– Spiranthes lacera (Raf.) Raf. (1833) : Northern Slender Ladies’-tresses (C. & E. Canada to C. & E. U.S.A)

The intergeneric hybrids are:
– Spiranthes × intermedia Ames (1903) (SE. Canada to NE. U.S.A.)
– Spiranthes × itchetuckneensis P.M.Br. (1999) (Florida)
– Spiranthes × simpsonii Catling & Sheviak (1993) (SE. Canada to NC. U.S.A)

Growing/Caring conditions for Spiranthes
– Select a location which receives natural sunlight.
– Care should be taken that the location is not too hot.
– Indirect light is preferred in summer.
– Plant the orchid in the location.
– Water the orchid well.
– Care should be taken, not to overwater the orchid.
– Keep the orchid moist.
– Plant blooms in the fall to spring.
– Repotting annually is better for some orchids.
– Plant the orchid in a potting mix of mulch for tropical plants.
– Fertilize the orchid with plant food that is specific for orchids.
– Control the way roots get their oxygen because it is an important factor when they grow.
– This plant needs rich and fertile soil.
– This plant needs well draining soil.
– Add tree fern fibers (for small plants), several pieces of coarse fir bark, or sphagnum moss for draining.
– Dead growth and branches should be removed.

The following fungal and bacterial infections are known to attack the plant.
– Leaf spot is caused by Colletotrichum and Gleosporium.
– Leaf blight – caused by Pythium.
– Collar blocth – caused by Penicilium thomii.
– Collar rot – caused by Sclerotium.
– Orchid wilt – caused by Sclerotium rolfsli.

To avoid the above fungicides like Captan, Dithane, Agrosan and Ceresan are very effective.
– More than 32 diseases are known to occur on orchids with the most common are Cymbidium mosaic virus.
– All infected plants should be isolated to prevent spreading of the disease for avoiding.
– The most commonly reported insects pests on orchids are thrips, aphids, spidermite, soft scale, mealy bugs, orchid weevil, snail and slugs.
– They feed on tender young shoot, suck the sap and damage the young bud and shoot and also act as the carrier of different diseases.
– These can be controlled by effective insecticides like Parathion, Malathion, BHC, Aldrin, Dieldrin, etc. Metaldehyde has proved to be very effective in killing slugs and snails.

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