Flora of Northern Ireland
  • Dactylorhiza fuchsii x purpurella (D. x venusta) (Stephenson & T.A.Stephenson) Soo - Hybrid Common Spotted x Northern Marsh Orchid - Orchidaceae
Dactylorhiza fuchsii x purpurella (D. x venusta)
© John Wilde
Dactylorhiza fuchsii x purpurella (D. x venusta)
© John Wilde
Dactylorhiza fuchsii x purpurella (D. x venusta)
(Map updated: March 2008)
 

There are many orchid hybrids, but most are very rare. This one is a cross between the Common Spotted-Orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsii) and the Northern Marsh-Orchid (Dactylorhiza purpurella). It is quite common in damp or wet sand dune slacks along the north coast in places like The Umbra dunes, the Bann Estuary dunes and Whitepark Bay, where both parent species are abundant and grow side-by-side.

The hybrid is a vigorous handsome plant with paler flowers than the Northern Marsh-Orchid, and is very variable. It shows various combinations of the features of both parents. Like most hybrids it is almost totally sterile, producing no or very few seeds.

All names: Dactylorhiza fuchsii x purpurella (D. x venusta) (Stephenson & T.A.Stephenson) Soo; Dactylorhiza x venusta (Stephenson & T.A.Stephenson) Soo; Dactylorhiza fuchsii x purpurella