West Highland Flora

Lesser Butterfly Orchid


Platanthera bifolia

 

Platanthera bifolia

Photo Carl Farmer
13 Jul 2003 Sligachan, Skye
Top flower 16 mm across

Widespread but not common, in damp grassy or heathery areas.  Sometimes grows with Greater Butterfly Orchid, but also occurs in more upland and acid ground than that species.

Plant c 15-30 cm tall.  Flower diameter c 10-18 mm

ID: Could only be mistaken for Greater Butterfly Orchid, but has pollinia parallel and close together, c 1 mm apart (visible under the hood in pic below right)

Other features: Usually two large leaves at base, other leaves much smaller.  Flowers generally whiter than Greater Butterfly Orchid, and flower-spike narrower and more parallel-sided.

 

Photo Carl Farmer
21 Jun 2004 Brochel, Raasay
Lowest flower c 13 mm wide

 

 

Platanthera bifolia

Photo Carl Farmer
1 Jul 2006 Ardnish, Skye
Face-on flower c 12 mm wide

 

 

Platanthera bifolia

Photo Carl Farmer
13 Jul 2003 Sligachan, Skye
Lip of lower open flower 9 mm long

  Platanthera bifolia

Photo Carl Farmer
13 Jul 2003 Sligachan, Skye

 

Platanthera bifolia

Photo Carl Farmer
13 Jul 2003 Sligachan, Skye
Plant 21 cm high

Showing 2 leaves at base

  Platanthera bifolia

Photo Carl Farmer
13 Jul 2003 Sligachan, Skye
Lip of lower open flower 9 mm long


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