Irish wildflowers

Photographs: The Burren, Co.Clare

Heath Fragrant Orchid
Gymnadenia borealis / Gymnadenia conopsea ssp. borealis
Lus taghla
Family: Orchidaceae

Flowering time: June-August. Perennial. Native.

Conical spikes of fragrant pink flowers. Slender spur, tri-lobed lip.
Obscurely-lobed, usually longer than wide, central lobe longest.
Side sepals oval, tapering to pointed tip and angled slightly downward.
Narrow basal leaves 3-5, keeled, with pointed tips. Stem leaves bract-like.
Green stems, purplish towards top. Height: 10-25cm.

Very frequent in central Ireland, rare elsewhere. Tolerates mildly acidic to alkaline soils on limestone, clay, sand. Un-improved pasture, roadsides, dunes.

Subspecies identification is uncertain.

Similar: Marsh Fragrant Orchid, G. conopsea ssp. densiflora.
Side sepals appear parallel, horizontal.


Above: Heath Fragrant Orchid. The Burren, Co.Clare. August 2007

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