Dactylorhiza incarnata

Early marsh orchid; Fleischfarbenes Knabenkraut; Kødfarvet Gøgeurt

Across much of northern and central Europe, but rare in the Mediterranean basin. From Ireland eastwards to Russia; northwards to Scandinavia.

In wet meadows, pasture, marshes and damp sand dunes. It is very variable in flower colour and other charcaters, with some of these variants being given subspecific or specific status by some botanists.
(See e.g. Dactylorhiza cruenta)

A notable characteristic of this species is the way the sides of the lip are folded backwards, giving the lip a keeled appearance.

Photographs: Ireland, 2000.
© Fiona Maitland

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