Dactylorhiza fuchsii

Common spotted orchid; Fuchs'sches Knabenkraut

A common species of northern, western and mid-Europe, from Ireland to northern Italy, Hungary and Russia; northwards from northern Spain to Scandinavia. Absent from the Mediterranean basin.

Common in the north and west of Europe in wet meadows, pasture and marshes. It is very variable in form, colour and markings of the flower. The leaves are nearly always dark-spotted.

Some botanists do not consider it specifically distinct from D. maculata, but the middle lobe of the labellum is larger in D. fuchsii.

See also Dactylorhiza fuchsii subsp. hebridensis, Dactylorhiza fuchsii var. o'kellyi
and Dactylorhiza x venusta

Photographs: Northern Ireland, 1994, 2004.
© Paul Hackney

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© National Museums and Galleries of Northern Ireland, 2005