The Lady’s-Dresses are very delicate and distinctive plants. The flower arrangement in a spiral row was eponymous. The Lady’s-Dresses is very rare, demanding and threatened with extinction. In Germany are two species native. At the one hand the Summer Lady’s-Dresses (Spiranthes aestivalis), which is still rarely to be found in calcareous fens in South Germany. On the other hand the Autumn Lady’s-Dresses (Spiranthes spiralis), which is German orchid of the year 2001 and a rare inhabitant of short grass calcerous or dry grasslands, which underlie a regular grazing.
Spiranthes aestivalis has almost snow-white flowers, which are a little bit longer as in the case of its relative. The plant is medium green, blossoms in July and is to be found in wet biotopes. By contrast, Spiranthes spiralis is to be found on short-grassy juniper heaths and blossoms from August to September. The flowers show a greater proportion of green, the leaves are rather of a grey green coloration.
Further European species are Spiranthes romanzoffiana with main range in North America, but the plant is also in Ireland native. Interesting is the three-row, spiral inflorescence. In addition the red-flowering Spiranthes sinensis is native in whole temperate Asia, reaching in the West the Ural.