Gymnadenia conopsea sensu lato

Fragrant orchid; Orchis moustique; Mücken-Händelwurz; Orchide garofanata

Across much of Europe and Asia, from Ireland to Japan.

Upper two photographs: Slovenia 1989.
© Alan Hill.

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A beautifully fragrant orchid with a spike of numerous flowers, each with a long slender spur. Flower colour varies from pink through shades of purple and lilac; white-flowered forms also occur. Plants range in height from about 15 - 50 cm. It is found in a wide variety of habitats, including open woodland, grassy places, damp meadows, fens etc, from sea level to 2500 metres.

Gymnadenia conopsea has been split by some authorities into several taxa, recognised variously as varieties, subspecies or substantive species.

Bottom photograph: subsp. borealis beside Loch Duich, Scotland 2007.
© Paul Hackney.

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© National Museums and Galleries of Northern Ireland, 2007