Orchis militaris

Military orchid; Orchis militaire; Helm-Knabenkraut; Ridder-gøgeurt; Giglio-crestato

At low altitudes in northern Europe, becoming more montane in its more southerly areas of distribution, and generally absent from the Mediterranean region. Found in most countries of northern and central Europe from S Sweden and Great Britain eastwards to the Crimea and the Caucasus.

This plant grows up to about 65cm tall; the sepals and lateral petals are greyish-blue and form a 'hood'; the pinkish lip is lobed and rather similar to that of several other Orchis species such as O. italica or O. simia. A species of calcareous soils, in grassland, open woodland and scrub.

Photographs: Slovenia, 2002.

Click photographs for larger images.

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© National Museums and Galleries of Northern Ireland, 2004