West Highland Flora

Northern Marsh Orchid


Dactylorhiza purpurella

 

Dactylorhiza purpurella

Photo Carl Farmer
25 Jun 2004 Portree, Skye
Inflorescence c 3.8 cm high

Common on roadsides, grassy areas, including lawns, and marshy places

Height c 5-30 cm.  Flower-spike c 2-6 cm long x 2.5-4 cm wide.

ID: Flowers deep purple with darker lines and dots over most of the lower petal, not just near its centre as in Early Purple Orchid. Lower petal somewhat diamond-shaped, unlobed or shallowly lobed, not bent back as in Early Marsh Orchid.  Told from Lapland Marsh Orchid by: flower-spike not one-sided, flower-bracts without spots (but often purplish), tooth at tip of lowest petal, if present, less than a fifth the length of the petal.

Other features: Leaves may be spotted or not.  Specimens with paler flowers may be hybrids with Common or Heath Spotted Orchids.  The Dactylorhiza complex forms a continuum with the named taxa being merely clustering-points.

 

Dactylorhiza purpurella

Photo Carl Farmer
9 Jun 2003 Glenvarragill, Skye
Rear spike c 3 cm across at widest

 

Dactylorhiza purpurella

Photo Carl Farmer
8 Jun 2003 Scorrybreac, Skye



Dactylorhiza purpurella

Photo Carl Farmer
8 Jun 2006 Ashaig, Skye

Flower spike c 2.7 cm across at widest

 

Dactylorhiza purpurella

Photo Carl Farmer
8 Jun 2006 Ashaig, Skye
Flower spike c 3.7 cm across at widest


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