Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Spiranthes ×stellata


Higher Taxonomy
Family: OrchidaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Perennial herb, terrestrial [growing on other pls], 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.
Genera In Family: +- 800 genera, +- 25000 species: especially tropics (worldwide except Antarctica). Many cultivated for ornament, especially Cattleya, Cymbidium, Epidendrum, Oncidium, Paphiopedilum; Vanilla planifolia Andrews fruits used to flavor food. Note: Platanthera may be paraphyletic without inclusion of Piperia (Bateman et al. 2009 Ann Bot 104:431--445); study needed.
eFlora Treatment Author: Ronald A. Coleman, Dieter H. Wilken & William F. Jennings, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Ronald A. Coleman, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: SpiranthesView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Erect. Leaf: Basal, sometimes also ascending-cauline, linear to lanceolate [ovate, eastern North America], 0 to several at flowering. Inflorescence: spike, flowers in generally dense to lax spiral; bracts < to > flowers, concave around ovary, gradually reduced upward, lanceolate. Flower: Generally white, sometime ivory-green to cream [pink, Asia], sepals, lateral petals narrow-lanceolate; upper sepal +- fused to lateral petals, lower sepals +- free, +- = lip; lip with 2 small basal nectar glands, not spurred; column < lip. Fruit: Ovoid.
Etymology: (Greek: coiled flowers)
eFlora Treatment Author: Matthew C. Pace & Kenneth M. Cameron
Reference: Sheviak 2012 Native Orchid Conf J 9(4):1--6, Sheviak 2013 Native Orchid Conf J 10(2):1--31; Pace & Cameron 2019 Taxon 68:199--217
Spiranthes ×stellata P.M. Br., Dueck & K.M. Cameron
Habit: Plant 20--40 cm. Leaf: basal, linear-lanceolate to lanceolate. Inflorescence: flowers tightly spiraled. Flower: Somewhat bell-shaped in profile, white; sepals spreading distally; lip fiddle-shaped, center white to pale yellow. Fruit: light brown. Chromosomes: 2n=88.
Ecology: Bogs, wet meadows, fens, seeps, wet roadsides; Elevation: 300--3000 m. Bioregional Distribution: SN; Distribution Outside California: Oregon. Flowering Time: Jul--Aug Note: Natural hybrid of S. perexilis ;times S. romanzoffiana; often co-occurring with one or both parents.
Jepson eFlora Author: Matthew C. Pace & Kenneth M. Cameron
Reference: Sheviak 2012 Native Orchid Conf J 9(4):1--6, Sheviak 2013 Native Orchid Conf J 10(2):1--31; Pace & Cameron 2019 Taxon 68:199--217
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

Previous taxon: Spiranthes ×sierrae
Next taxon: Poaceae (Gramineae)

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Citation for this treatment: Matthew C. Pace & Kenneth M. Cameron 2023, Spiranthes ×stellata, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, Revision 12,, accessed on July 22, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on July 22, 2024.

No expert verified images found for Spiranthes ×stellata.

Geographic subdivisions for Spiranthes ×stellata:
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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 occurrence).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.

View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month Flowering-Fruiting Monthly Counts

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).