West Highland Flora

Common Spotted Orchid


Dactylorhiza fuchsii

 

Dactylorhiza fuchsii

Photo Carl Farmer
27Jun 2004 Portree, Skye
Inflorescence c 7 cm high

Common on roadsides, in hay meadows, and in damp grassland that is not too acid.  Less common in the far north.

Height c 20-50 cm.  Lowest petal c 8-12 mm wide

ID: Lowest petal divided more than a quarter of the way, into 3 lobes, the side lobes being rather angular with straightish edges, not fully rounded like those of Heath Spotted Orchid, and the middle lobe being much more substantial than in that species, usually projecting below the side lobes.

Other features: Leaves often with spots that are broader across the leaf than along it, but sometimes unspotted.  Plants on good soil have tall cylindrical flower-spikes like that in pic on left, which is never the case with Heath Spotted.

Very variable and readily hybridises with other Dactylorhiza species.

 

Dactylorhiza fuchsii

Photo Carl Farmer
25 June 2003 Armadale, Skye

Above: Flower close-up showing the slightly tapering spur
Right: A remarkably tall specimen

  Dactylorhiza fuchsii

Photo Carl Farmer
25 June 2003 Armadale, Skye
Plant 80 cm tall


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Dactylorhiza fuchsii

Photo Carl Farmer
8 Jun 2003 Scorrybreac, Skye
Flower spike c 3 cm high

  Dactylorhiza fuchsii

Photo Carl Farmer
27Jun 2004 Portree, Skye
Lip of centre face-on flower c 9.5 mm across

 

Dactylorhiza fuchsii

Photo Carl Farmer
7 Jul 2004 Uig, Skye
Lip of lowest flower c 11 mm across

  Dactylorhiza fuchsii

Photo Carl Farmer
7 Jul 2004 Glenhinnisdale, Skye
Lip of lowest centre flower c 10 mm across


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