Autumn Lady’s Tresses (Spiranthes spiralis)

Perennial
S. autumnalis. Rich. Ophrys spiralis. L.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Autumn Lady's Tresses
Spiranthes spiralis
Orchidaceae

None known

  • Medicinal Use

    The tuberous root has been used as an aphrodisiac[4].

    A tincture of the root is used as a homeopathic remedy[4]. It is used in the treatment of skin affections, painful breasts, pain in the kidneys and eye complaints[4].

  • Edible Use

    None known

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – surface sow, preferably as soon as it is ripe, in the greenhouse and do not allow the compost to dry out. The seed of this species is extremely simple, it has a minute embryo surrounded by a single layer of protective cells. It contains very little food reserves and depends upon a symbiotic relationship with a species of soil-dwelling fungus. The fungal hyphae invade the seed and enter the cells of the embryo. The orchid soon begins to digest the fungal tissue and this acts as a food supply for the plant until it is able to obtain nutrients from decaying material in the soil[200]. It is best to use some of the soil that is growing around established plants in order to introduce the fungus, or to sow the seed around a plant of the same species and allow the seedlings to grow on until they are large enough to move. Division in autumn. Make sure that you keep plenty of soil with each plant. It is also said to be possible to transplant orchids after they have flowered but whilst they are still in leaf.
See the plants native habitat for ideas on its cultivation needs[K]. Orchids are, in general, shallow-rooting plants of well-drained low-fertility soils. Their symbiotic relationship with a fungus in the soil allows them to obtain sufficient nutrients and be able to compete successfully with other plants. They are very sensitive to the addition of fertilizers or fungicides since these can harm the symbiotic fungus and thus kill the orchid[230]. This species is one of the commonest orchids in Britain, though it is often overlooked because it flowers so late. It sometimes naturalizes in lawns, especially where these overly a chalk substrate or a turf from chalky land has been used to make the lawn[230]. In the evening the flowers diffuse a penetrating almond-like perfume like heliotrope[245].
Europe, including Britain, south and east from Denmark to N. Africa and W. Asia.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.