c. 15cm in height (not measured). About 4 lightly spotted leaves.
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I've been looking at Dactylorhizas this week, and am tending to think that they all overlap more than they are distinct. Though this one seems to match D traunsterneri fairly well (the picture in Rose looks quite pale, but is much darker in a book I have of Orchids of Northern Europe by Nilsson). And it does seem to have quite narrow leaves.
Curious though that Rose says 'spur... slender' and the Nilsson book says 'the spur is quite long, thick and blunt'!
So maybe Dactylorhiza is really as far as it can go usefully and the rest is just people wanting to have precise labels! But I'm decidedly not an expert.
was also puzzling, and I was glad that someone was brave enough to offer a species (Northern Marsh, in that case).
I recall that there was some discussion about the Dactylorhiza genus when I last posted one (never fully resolved). Some people are of the opinion that they are not really "proper" separate species.
reason unknown. Please ignore!)
Thanks for the comments. This was the species that I had felt it was most like, but the ones that I found seemed to have more flowers on the spike than those that I have seen pictures of. I have never really looked in detail at orchids before. I did discover a paperback on morphological variation of the species on Amazon, so I guess the are quite variable! If this is correct it could be a new record for the area.
Lat/Lng: 57.4, -4.3
OS grid ref: NH6441