Flora of Northern Ireland
  • Dactylorhiza purpurella (Stephenson & T.A.Stephenson) Soo - Northern Marsh-Orchid - Orchidaceae
Dactylorhiza purpurella
© Paul Hackney
Dactylorhiza purpurella
© Fiona McCrory
Dactylorhiza purpurella
© Robert Thompson
Dactylorhiza purpurella
(Map updated: March 2008)
Dactylorhiza purpurella
© Robert Thompson
 

Northern Marsh-Orchid (Dactylorhiza purpurella). A plant of wet ground in dune-slacks, marshes and fens where the water is not too acidic.

The dunes of the north coast are an excellent place to view this species, and its hybrid with the Common Spotted-Orchid (D. fuchsii).

It is a handsome plant (the hybrid is even more so) with deep purple flowers whose flat lower lip is marked with darker lines and blotches. The lip is broadly diamond-shaped, not 3-lobed (unlike its close relative the Western Marsh-Orchid (D. majalis)), although it sometimes has a small point or lobe which sticks out slightly from the middle.

All names: Dactylorhiza purpurella (Stephenson & T.A.Stephenson) Soo; Dactylorhiza majalis ssp. purpurella (Stephenson & T.A.Stephenson) David Moore & Soo; Dactylorchis purpurella (Stephenson & T.A.Stephenson) Vermuelen; Orchis purpurella T. & T.A.Stephenson