This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol1", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
[Gyrostachys Pers. Syn. 2: 511, as subgenus. 1807.J
Erect herbs, with fleshy-fibrous or tuberous roots and slender stems or scapes, leaf-bearing below or at the base. Flowers small, spurless, spiked, 1-3-rowed, the spikes more or less twisted. Sepals free, or more or less coherent at the top, or united with petals into a galea. Lip sessile or clawed, concave, erect, embracing the column and often adherent to it, spreading and crisped, or rarely lobed or toothed at the apex, bearing minute callosities at the base. Column arched below, obliquely attached to the top of the ovary. Anther without a lid, borne on the back of the column, erect. Stigma ovate, prolonged into an acuminate beak, at length bifid, covering the anther and stigmatic only underneath. Pollina 2, 1 in each sac, powdery. Capsule ovoid or oblong, erect. [The anther has a fancied resemblance to the head of an Ibis.]
About 55 species, widely distributed in tropical and temperate regions. Besides the following, about 5 others occur in the southern States, and one in California. The flowers are often fragrant.' Type species: Ophrys spiralis J. E. Smith.
*Flowers 3-several-ranked; rachis not conspicuously twisted.
Sepals and petals coherent and connivent into a hood.
Lateral sepals free and separate.
Lip of quadrate type; callosities imperfect, mostly in edge of lip-base; vernal-flowering.
Lip of ovate type; callosities prominent, mostly curved; autumnal-flowering.
Petals linear, not dilated at the base; spike stout, over 7" thick.
Petals lanceolate, dilated at the base; spike slender, less than 7" thick.
**Flowers merely alternate, appearing secund from the spiral twisting of the rachis.
Stem leafy below; leaves narrow, elongate, persistent.
Lip pubescent without, of an ovate type, the base dilated.
Lip glabrous without, of an oblong type, the base not dilated.
Stem merely scaly; leaves basal, broad, short, fugacious.
Root solitary; lip white, of an ovate type, erose-crisped from apex to the middle,
Roots clustered; lip green, except the crisped margin, of an oblong type, the apex wavy-crisped.