Irish wildflowers

Photographs: Ballingeary, Co.Cork

Heath Spotted-orchid
Dactylorhiza maculata
Na circíní
Family: Orchidaceae

Flowering time: June-August. Perennial. Native.

Pale pink flowers with purple streaks, spots. Lip shallowly 3-lobed, central lobe shortest. Leaves usually spotted, pointed. Unspotted leaves also occur.
Solid stems. Very variable. Height: 15-45 cm
Usually begins flowering approx 2 weeks before Common Spotted-orchids.

Locally frequent on acidic heaths, bogs, and grassland.

Similar: Common Spotted-orchid, D. fuchsii

Identification between Common Spotted-orchids, D. fuchsii and Heath Spotted-orchids, D. maculata can be difficult. Common Spotted-orchids are normally found on calcareous or neutral soils, Heath Spotted-orchids on acidic ground.
"There is evidence suggesting that Spotted-orchids on intermediate soils tend to be intermediate in appearance."
Ref. 'Orchids of Britain and Ireland' by Anne and Simon Harrap

Photographs above: Ballingeary area, Co.Cork. June 2007

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