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Ronald A. Coleman, Dieter H. Wilken & William F. Jennings, except as noted

Perennial herb, terrestrial [growing on other plants], non-green (nutrition from association of roots with fungi) or green, generally from rhizomes or tubers with few to many fleshy to slender roots; cauline leaves ± reduced to sheathing stem bracts or not. Leaf: 1–many, basal to cauline, linear to ± round, alternate to opposite (if only 1 pair), generally sessile. Inflorescence: flowers 1–many, spike or raceme, bracted. Flower: bisexual, bilateral, in bud generally rotating 180° by twisting ovary (position of parts indicated after twisting); sepals generally 3, generally free, generally petal-like, uppermost generally erect, lateral with chin- or spur-like projection (mentum) or not; petals 3, 1 (lip) different, spurred or not; stamens generally 1 (3 in Cypripedium, 2 functional, 1 a staminode), fused with style, stigma into column, pollen generally lumped, generally removed as unit by insect; ovary inferior, 1-chambered, placentas 3, parietal, stigma 3 lobed, generally under column tip. Fruit: capsule. Seed: many, minute.
± 800 genera, ± 25000 species: especially tropics (worldwide except Antarctica). Many cultivated for ornamental, especially Cattleya, Cymbidium, Epidendrum, Oncidium, Paphiopedilum; Vanilla planifolia Andrews fruits used to flavor food. [Romero-Gonzalez et al. 2002 FNANM 26:490–651] Platanthera may be paraphyletic without inclusion of Piperia (Bateman et al. 2009 Ann Bot 104:431–445); study needed. —Scientific Editors: Ronald A. Coleman, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Unabridged references: [Luer 1975 Orchids US and Can, NY Bot Garden; Coleman 1995 Wild Orchids of California. Cornell Univ.]

Key to Orchidaceae

Leaf: at flower 0 or ± basal. Inflorescence: spike, generally dense, flowers in spiral; bracts leaf-like, < to > flowers, gradually reduced upward, linear to oblong. Flower: sepals, lateral petals narrow-lanceolate; upper sepal ± fused to lateral petals, together hood-like, enclosing column, lower ± free, ± = lip, adherent to hood; lip not spurred, pouch-like, deeply grooved below middle, concave above; column < lip, tip with anther on back. Fruit: spreading to ascending.
± 40 species: especially America, also Japan, Australia, New Zealand. (Greek: coiled flowers) Plants in Sierra Nevada may be hybrids between species below, for which Spiranthes stellata P.M. Brown et al. might be correct.
Unabridged references: [Sheviak 1990 Rhodora 92:213–231]
Unabridged note: Plants in Sierra Nevada may be hybrids between species below, for which Spiranthes stellata P.M. Brown, Dueck, & K.M. Cameron might be correct.

Key to Spiranthes

S. porrifolia Lindl.
Plant 18–56 cm. Leaf: basal 8–14 cm. Inflorescence: 5–14 cm; flower bracts 7–20 mm. Flower: sepals, petals 7–12 mm; column 2–4 mm.
2n=44[66]. Wet meadows, freshwater marshes, seeps, grassland, oak woodland; < 2500 m. Northwestern California (except Inner North Coast Ranges), Cascade Range, Sierra Nevada, n Central Coast, San Francisco Bay Area, Outer South Coast Ranges, San Gabriel Mountains, Peninsular Ranges; to Washington. Jun–Sep [Online Interchange]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 27 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Spiranthes, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 27 2015

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Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Spiranthes porrifolia Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.