Large stout plants in a wet meadow.
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Lovely images. It could be Southern Marsh-orchid, but the rather narrow lower lip to the flowers, in many cases with the sides strongly folded back, suggest there might be some Early Marsh-orchid, D. incarnata, in its parentage too. It would be interesting to know what other marsh and/or spotted orchids were growing nearby.
Brian, I don't think we saw any other orchids on that visit to Great Oakley Meadow. You may know if there are records of other orchids from the site, it is a Wildlife Trust reserve.
I'm not aware of other records, but I'll ask our Northants office after the holiday. I've not been to Great Oakley Meadow for several years, so I'll try and get there in the Marsh-orchid season next year!
I've heard back from the Northants office of the Wildlife Trust, and the county Biological Records Centre, and the only related species they haev records of from Great Oakley Meadow is Common Spotted-orchid, which I'm sure isn't involved in the parentage of your specimen (it and its hybrids almost always have strong dark loop markings on the lip of the flower). So,Southern Marsh-orchid is new, and if there's Early nearby, that would be new, too! Excellent record.
That's good! Do you know Jeff Best? He took a group of aspiring botanists (including me)there and he may have other records - he is a BCN WLT member, I've seen him at meetings.
Perhaps we could arrange a monitoring visit there this year in June.
Thanks - yes, I've known Jeff since I joined the Trust in the 1990s. He's our voluntary warden at Kings Wood, Corby, and was on various committees in the past.
I'm very keen to see the site in the marsh-orchid season, and all the better if in company.
Lat/Lng: 52.4655, -0.7268
OS grid ref: SP865860