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Go Back   Orchid Board - Most Complete Orchid Forum on the web ! > STYLES, SETUPS & ENCLOSURES > Orchids in the Wild
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  • 1 Post By RosieC

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  #1  
Unread 07-16-2009, 05:23 PM
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Default My first Wild Orchid - Dactylorhiza fuchsii

Out walking today and I spotted this, the Common Spotted Orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsii).

(Click on the pics for a bigger version).


Ok, I had some help, the information leaflet we picked up with the map of the walk said that there were four sorts of wild orchid in the meadows beside the path and along the edges of the path. If it was not for that I would not have even thought to look for them.

The leaflet mentioned the Northern Marsh Orchid (Dactylorhiza purpurella, though I had to look up the correct name later) and had a very vauge drawing of it. Lots of flowers could have looked similar from that drawing, but close inspection told me they were not orchids, they just didn't look like orchids.

Then I spotted this and decided it was the most likely to be an orchid. Once I got home I searched for Northern Marsh Orchid and it was similar, but links from there to the Common Spotted Orchid lead me to believe that's what these pics are (the shape of the lip is a better match).

These orchids are a common European orchid are found in northan England, Scotland and the Northen part of Ireland.

The leaves are hidden in the grass (they are strap like and mottled) and the flower spikes poke up surrounded by grasses and other wild flowers. The flowering part of the spike is about 3cm in height (1-2inches). The colour varies from white to quite purple, I could see a mixture of colours along the path.



They naturally hybridise with Dactylorhiza purpurella and Dactylorhiza maculata ssp ericetorum (Heath Spotted Orchid) but from what I can find online both of these (and the hybrids) have a different shape lip.

This is the first time I have seen a wild orchid, I was so excited to find out it really was one.
I was also pleased how well the came out from my little shoot-and-click camera. It's "digital macro" mode can do wonders.
The Orchid Boy likes this.
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Last edited by RosieC; 07-16-2009 at 05:31 PM..
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  #2  
Unread 07-16-2009, 06:03 PM
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That is very nice!!! I love the lines and stripes in the flowers!

---Prem
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  #3  
Unread 07-17-2009, 04:53 AM
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Yeah, I like that too.

You can actually see these tiny flowers far more clearly in my pics than you could in real life. Before I had confirmed online that they looked like Dactylorhiza fuchsii I had zoomed in on the little screen on the back of the camera and seen features like the pollina (visible if you zoom on the second pic) and that helped me to be more sure that they were indeed orchids.

I'm so glad I had the camera with me, it's really helped me study these beauties in detail.
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  #4  
Unread 07-17-2009, 06:44 AM
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I'm glad that you got to see some wild orchids! Enjoy them, it's quite late in the season now. Next year you should try looking also in june, there are quite a few species which are in full bloom then. Wild orchids of that type are so easy to tell apart from other flowers that even from a distance their shape and colors just scream 'orchid!' Love them!
The first one I'm not entirely persuaded that it's fuschii. It might also be maculata. The two orchids arer very very similar, both hybridize easily and both are found in the same places within eurasia. They also both have quite a lot of variation in markings, shape and color, which makes them hard to distinguish. Also keep in mind that photos that you find on internet might be misidentified. The best source is an wildflower/wild orchid guidebook with good photos. The problem with Dactylorhiza (and Orchis as well) is that if you have several species in the same area, they very easily cross with each other, making ID a headache.

The second one looks to be a hybrid with a lot of Dactylorhiza purpurella in it
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  #5  
Unread 07-20-2009, 03:27 PM
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Thanks Camille, I know what you mean about then just 'screaming orchid'. I had glanced at and dismissed lots of other wild flowers, than saw these and knew that if anything there was an orchid it was these.

purpurella was meant to be arround in the area but I had thought from pics I saw that it was a different shape in the lip. As you say though they could be mis-identified in online pics and there is a very high chance of natural hybridisation so both of these are likely to be hybrids in reality.

The other thing that lead me to think fuchsii was that it talked about that having mottled leaves and thats what these had. The online pages I looked at did not mention that for the others but it may just have been omitted.
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  #6  
Unread 07-21-2009, 11:08 AM
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Both fucshii and maculata have mottled leaves. maculata is not always mottled, and it's usually light mottling with just a few spots, while fucshii is usually more heavily mottled, sometimes to the point that the leaves appear almost entirely purple.
Whatever the exact name, it's an orchid and that's the most important!
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  #7  
Unread 07-21-2009, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camille1585 View Post
Whatever the exact name, it's an orchid and that's the most important!
I agree, I was sooo pleased when I was able to confirm 100% that it was and orchid (and pretty certain it's Dactylorhiza of some sort).
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