The genus of spirogyra contains organisms made of green algae that have spiral chloroplast arrangements and primarily live in freshwater environments. All spirogyra have cell walls that are connected in long chains and lack defined branches. Members of this genus undergo haploid-dominant life cycles and have cell walls with two layers instead of just one.
Most spirogyra reproduce sexually, although a few reproduce asexually. These organisms live primarily in clean, fresh water environments. In the springtime, spirogyra live and grow under water but rise to the surface in the summer to absorb sunlight. Spirogyra live in clusters of green masses and may share living spaces with mougeotia and zygnema.