Flora of Northern Ireland
  • Dactylorhiza maculata ssp. ericetorum (Linton) P.Hunt & Summerh. - Heath Spotted-Orchid (subspecies) - Orchidaceae
Dactylorhiza maculata ssp. ericetorum
© Robert Thompson
Dactylorhiza maculata ssp. ericetorum
© Graham Day
Dactylorhiza maculata ssp. ericetorum
© Paul Hackney
Dactylorhiza maculata ssp. ericetorum
(Map updated: March 2008)
 

Heath Spotted-Orchid (Dactylorhiza maculata). This is a very common species similar to the Common Spotted-Orchid (and only separated from it as a distinct species in relatively recent times) but usually less heavily spotted than that species, and with the lower lip of the flower having a comparatively small middle lobe. The lip is marked with dots and dashes of a deep lilac, the petals being a paler colour varying from whitish to a deep lilac-rose.

It is a plant of rough or uncultivated acid grassland, damp moorland, and dry heaths. It frequently grows in company with the Common Spotted-Orchid and so-called 'hybrid swarms' may then occur.

It tends to have fewer flowers in the spike than the Common-Spotted Orchid and comes into flower somewhat earlier.

All Irish plants belong to the subspecies ericetorum.

All names: Dactylorhiza maculata ssp. ericetorum (Linton) P.Hunt & Summerh.; Dactylorchis maculata ssp. ericetorum (E.F.Linton) Vermeul.; Orchis ericetorum (E.F.Linton) E.S.Marshall; Orchis maculata auct.; Dactylorhiza elodes auct.