Cornish Biodiversity Network  -  Supporting Wildlife Recording

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Cornish Red Data (2009)

The descriptive text, below the map, is from the Cornish Red Data Book (2009). The map on this web page depicts the organisms distribution and shows the records made pre-2000 and those made since.

Spiranthes spiralis - Autumn Lady's-tresses

Range & Status

Native. European Southern-temperate orchid. Not found north of the Isle of Man. Mainly coastal except in southern England where it also grows on the chalk and limestone.

Regional Distribution

Coastal sites, especially the Towans, with one notable exception; well inland, at Sylvia' s Meadow, near Callington (SX47). In the Isles of Scilly has been recorded from all the inhabited islands including Gugh (SV80).

Habitat & Ecology

Populations fluctuate from year to year. In Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly it is found on short grasslands on coastal sites, heathland and even mown grassland around buildings, roadsides and lawns. One large colony grows on the shallow turf on top of a granite wall on Scilly. Some populations can amount to thousands of plants in some years.


Changes in mowing regimes.


Most sites in Cornwall are protected, but only a few are on the Isles of Scilly.

Click here to see Aphotoflora images by David Fenwick


I.J. Bennallick, S. Board, C.N. French, P.A. Gainey, C. Neil, R. Parslow, A. Spalding and P.E. Tompsett. eds. 2009. Red Data Book for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. 2nd Edition.Croceago Press.

The Cornish Red Data Book Project was led by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Federation for Biological Recorders (CISFBR). The full text and species accounts (minus the maps) are available on the CISFBR website.

Cornish Biodiversity Network. 2017.