West Highland Flora

Heath Spotted Orchid


Dactylorhiza maculata ssp ericetorum

 

Photo Carl Farmer
3 Aug 2002 Portree, Skye

In damp moorland and grassland.  The area's commonest orchid.

Plant c 15-35 cm tall.  Lowest petal c 10-14 mm wide.

ID: Lowest petal lobed with central lobe little more than a "tooth", usually not projecting any lower than side lobes, which are much larger, well rounded, and wavy-edged giving flower a distinctive "frilly" look.

Other features: Flowers pink or pale violet to white, with variable amounts of marking in dots or lines (occasionally no marking).  Leaves with near-circular (not elliptical) spots or sometimes no spots.  Lowest leaves generally 3 x as long as broad, others even narrower.

Hybridises readily with other Dactylorhiza species.

 

Dactylorhiza maculata ssp ericetorum

Photo Carl Farmer
25 Jun 2004 Portree, Skye
Inflorescence c 3.5 cm high

An exceptionally dark example

  Dactylorhiza maculata ssp ericetorum

Photo Carl Farmer
9 May 2006 Rigg, Skye
Inflorescence c 2.1 cm across

This one has the side lobes of the lip
and the backs of the wings yellow


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