Dactylorhiza Praetermissa, Southern Marsh Orchid

There are several varieties and subspecies of dactylorhiza praetermissa, including ssp schoenophila, the most recently identified (in 2012), from plants previously considered to be dactylorhiza traunsteineroides, the narrow-leaved marsh orchid - characteristics are inflorescences of up to 18 flowers, reddish bracts, narrow leaves and flowers with elongated middle lobes.

Common name:
Southern marsh orchid
Scientific name:
Dactylorhiza praetermissa
Main flower color:
Wales and the southern half of England
Between 20 cm and 60 cm
Wet meadows, fens, dune slacks, usually on calcareous soils
The two outer sepals are spreading, angled a little above the plane, while the middle sepal forms a hood with the upper two petals. The lower petal is shallowly divided into three lobes, the inner short, blunt-pointed, the side lobes wider, and it is somewhat folded down along the axis. The middle portion of the lower petal is marked with darker purple spots and patches. The spur is short, conical in outline. Flowers are subtended by a relatively long, narrow bract
Broadly lanceolate, (usually) unspotted, up to 20 cm long, (partially) spreading rather than erect, and generally not sheathing the stem
May to June