Dactylorhiza maculata subsp. ericetorum

Heath spotted-orchid; Geflecktes Knabenkraut; Gefleckte Fingerwurz

Great Britain, Ireland and other parts of north-west Europe.

D. maculata is widely distributed and is fairly common across Europe except in the south-east. It is closely related to D. fuchsii, and the two are regarded as a single species by some authorities. This web site treats them as two species.

D. maculata is a variable species with a number of rather poorly defined subspecies. Subsp. ericetorum is a plant of heaths and moor in the British Isles and the north-western continent.

The leaves are generally dark-spotted. The central lobe of the labellum is smaller than the two side lobes (the three lobes are sub-equal in D. fuchsii).

Photographs: County Antrim, Northern Ireland, July 2003.
© Paul Hackney.

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© National Museums and Galleries of Northern Ireland, 2004-6