Dactylorhiza occidentalis

D. majalis subsp. occidentalis

Irish marsh orchid

An Irish endemic species, until recently treated as a subspecies of Dactylorhiza majalis, but that species is now regarded as being absent from Ireland or Great Britain. Especially frequent near the south and west coasts; rare in the east of the island.

Found in damp conditions: dune slacks, wet pasture etc. The pink-purple flowers are produced in a dense spike and the leaves are usually, but not always, heavily spotted.

Photograph: Co Kerry, SW Ireland.
© Tom Ennis

Click photograph for larger image.

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© National Museums and Galleries of Northern Ireland, 2005