Irish wildflowers

Photos: Co.Cork and Co.Limerick

Irish Marsh-orchid
Dactylorhiza kerryensis
Magairlín gaelach
Family: Orchidaceae

Previously known as Western Marsh-orchid, Dactylorhiza occidentalis but Dactylorhiza kerryensis is now accepted as the correct name.
Flowering time: May-July. Tuberous perennial. Native.

Very variable. Deep red-purple to pinkish-purple flowers in dense flower spike. Spreading side sepals, broad 3-lobed lip with narrow, pointed mid-lobe, Lip strongly marked with crimson dots and streaks. Robust, stocky growth habit, the broad, spreading leaves usually with purple blotches and/or spots.
D. kerryensis var. kerryensis has paler flowers and unmarked leaves.

Endemic to Ireland in damp calcareous grassland, fens, roadsides, marshes, dune slacks. Mainly S, W, NW Ireland.


Irish Marsh Orchid. Co.Cork June 2007 and Co.Limerick May 2008

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