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This genus is accepted, and its native range is Europe to Caucasus.
<i>Traunsteinera globosa</i> (Photograph by H.R. / BBG, courtesy


Traunsteinera is typically found in the sub-alpine zone of mountainous areas at elevations above 1500 m (range 1000-3000 m; Davies et al. 1988). It grows in slightly acid to alkaline soils, which may be dry to damp, and occurs in a range of habitats including poor grassland, alpine meadows, highland marshes, and open coniferous woodlands, but always in full sunlight. The co-occurring grassland vegetation is often relatively tall (Davies et al. 1988). Flowering plants co-occurring with T. globosa in northern Italy include Scabiosa columnbaria L. (Dipsacaceae) at low elevations and Valeriana montana L. (Valerianaceae) at high elevations, both of which closely resemble the appearance of the orchid. It has been suggested that T. globosa mimics these and other species to attract insect pollinators (Dafni 1987).
The flowering period of Traunsteinera populations is sometime between May and August, depending on elevation. As the individual flowers open, the dense globose or pyramidal inflorescence elongates (Davies et al. 1988). Seeds have been collected from T. globosa and germinated a symbiotically in culture within three months (Veyret 1969). Traunsteinera perennates by means of a relatively small tuber and has long, thick roots (Fuchs and Ziegenspeck 1925, cited in Rasmussen 1995).
Traunsteinera is recorded as Iocally rare in parts of its distribution. Delforge (1995) noted that it is particularly rare in the eastern part of its range in Anatolia (Turkey). (RN).


A genus of two species only. Traunsteinera globosa is distributed in the hilly and mountainous regions of western, central, and southeastern Europe south to Italy and east to Poland. Traunsteinera sphaerica Schltr. occurs in Turkey and the Caucasus. (JW).

General Description

Rootstock tuberous, tubers ovoid, entire. Stem erect, glabrous. Leaves two or three, oblong-lanceolate, remote, glaucous, unspotted, cauline only. Inflorescence densely many-flowered, globose or ovoid-spherical. Flowers small, rose-pink to purplish, or creamy white. Dorsal sepal and petals forming a loose hood. Sepals long acuminate, tips spathulate. Labellum three-lobed, shortly spurred. Column short, obtuse; rostellum three-lobed, median lobe erect, linear, tip hooded; pollinia two, attached to separate viscidia partly enclosed in a slightly bipartite, rudimentary bursicle. Ovary cylindrical, sessile, slightly twisted, glabrous. (JW).

Doubtfully present in:


Native to:

Austria, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Krym, North Caucasus, Poland, Romania, Spain, Switzerland, Transcaucasus, Turkey, Ukraine, Yugoslavia

Traunsteinera Rchb. appears in other Kew resources:

First published in Fl. Saxon.: 87 (1842)

Accepted by

  • Govaerts, R. (2003). World Checklist of Monocotyledons Database in ACCESS: 1-71827. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Pridgeon, A.M., Cribb, P.J., Chase, M.C. & Rasmussen, F.N. (2001). Orchidoideae (Part 1) Genera Orchidacearum 2: 1-416. Oxford University Press, New York, Oxford.

Kew Backbone Distributions
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at and
© Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at and
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

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