West Highland Flora

Early Marsh Orchid


Dactylorhiza incarnata

 

Dactylorhiza incarnata

Photo Carl Farmer
16 Jun 2002 Portree, Skye

Widespread but not numerous, in marshy places.

Height c 15-40 cm.  Lowest petal c 4-8 mm wide (without straightening it)

ID: Lowest petal soon bent back at sides (sometimes not when first opens), and only weakly 3-lobed, having a pattern of dots within a lined border as shown.  Lowest bracts longer than flowers.

Other features: Leaves long and narrow, with or without spots.  Bent-back sides of lowest petal is best ID feature.  Three kinds occur here: pink (common), purple (frequent) and red (very rare).  The red ones are ssp coccinea and the purple ones are ssp pulchella.  The pink ones have traditionally been regarded as ssp incarnata, and they key out to this in the books.  However some experts believe that all our pink ones are a form of ssp pulchella, and this is supported by the fact that they frequently form what appears to be a single population with the purple ones.

 

Dactylorhiza incarnata

Photo Carl Farmer
25 Jun 2005 River Snizort, Skye
Inflorescence c 2.5 cm across at widest

  Dactylorhiza incarnata

Photo Carl Farmer
8 Jun 2004 Isle of Rona, off Raasay

Both pictures with colouring of ssp
incarnata, but likely to be forms of
ssp pulchella

 

 

Dactylorhiza incarnata ssp pulchella

Photo Carl Farmer
12 Jun 2004 Scorrybreac, Skye
Height of picture c 5 cm

  Dactylorhiza incarnata ssp pulchella

Photo Carl Farmer
18 Jun 2004 Portree, Skye
Lowest petal of lowest fl c 6.5 across as seen

Both pictures ssp pulchella

 

Dactylorhiza incarnata ssp coccinea

Photo Carl Farmer
4 Jul 2006 South Fearns, Raasay
Inflorescence c 2.5 cm across at widest

Ssp coccinea


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