In Europe this genus is represented by just two species, the most familiar of which is T. globosa, a distinctive orchid once included within the Orchis group.
As a result of molecular sequencing however, it is now known as an
isolated genus whose closest genetic kinship is with the
morphologically dissimilar Chamorchis. Both of these genera are mountain dwellers and share some similarities in their root/tuber systems.
The second of the species within Traunsteinera is T. sphaerica which differs from T. globosa
mainly in the lip shape and colour of the flower which is usually a
greenish cream. Many taxonomists do not regard this plant as a
species in its own right, preferring to consider it as a geographically
influenced ecotype within the species.
leaves do not form a basal rosette, are narrow and arranged up the stem
in decreasing size similar to bracts.