Dactylorhiza Incarnata, Early Marsh Orchid



Common name:
Early marsh orchid
Scientific name:
Dactylorhiza incarnata
Main flower color:
Range:
All across the UK, though never widespread
Height:
Up to 60 cm
Habitat:
Damp grassland, dune hollows, fens, usually on calcareous soils
Flowers:
The two upper sepals are angled strongly upwards, while the middle sepal forms a hood with the two small, upper petals. The lower petal is shallowly lobed, the middle lobe small and rounded, and is strongly bent backwards along the centre line, giving it a narrow appearance. Each side of the petal is marked with a purple loop, purple-spotted within. The spur is relatively short, and tapered. Bracts are longer than the flowers. There are several subspecies, including ssp coccinea, which has red rather than pink flowers
Leaves:
Yellowish-green, narrow, folded up along the midvein, and keeled; usually unspotted, and hooded at the tip
Season:
May to June
Rarity:
★★★★★