Featherless biped's picture

Northern Marsh-orchid

Observed: 6th May 2013 By: Featherless bipedFeatherless biped’s reputation in PlantsFeatherless biped’s reputation in PlantsFeatherless biped’s reputation in PlantsFeatherless biped’s reputation in Plants

Not everything is late this year.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


Featherless biped's picture

ID query

I discounted the early-purple as my book shows that it's leaves are spotted.

cicuta58's picture


The leaves of Orchis mascula but can be unspotted though not often.


Featherless biped's picture


There are a few specimens close to this one, none of which are spotted. Is the "early" ID based on the date or is there something else I should look out for?

lavateraguy's picture

I don't know early purple orchid (or northern marsh orchid),

... but I would have said that this was early purple orchid - Dactylorhiza purpurella has a more strongly marked labellum and more prominent lateral petals.

martinjohnbishop's picture

The identification was based

The identification was based on the morphology.
The open flower has not rotated and so is upside down.
It may rotate later or could be a genetic variant that does not.

In Dactylorhiza there are large leaf-like bracts and the flower is quite a different shape.


Featherless biped's picture


Ahh, thank you. In June/July that whole area is covered in orchids, which I've always called northern marsh-orchids. When they appear I will look forward to comparing the two species. It's all a bit confusing to a neophyte like me.