Common Spotted Orchid - Dactylorhiza fuchsii
Family - Orchidaceae
Also known as - Crow-foot, Old Woman's Pincushion
A native herbaceous perennial and familiar orchid of wet meadows, grassland, woodlands, roadsides, fens and forests apparently preferring calcareous soils. One of the most common orchids in the UK but rare in Scotland, Europe and reportedly naturalised in the Province of Ontario Canada. It grows to around 10-60cm (4-24in) high, mostly on calcareous or neutral soils. It was voted the county flower of West Lothian in 2002 following a poll by the wild flora conservation charity Plantlife.
Green glossy lanceolate leaves are keeled and often spotted dark brown or black, appear before the flower stalk as a rosette. Narrower leaves sheath the lower part of the stalk. The inflorescence which are seen June to August is a dense spike of compact pale pink to pinkish-purple flowers 10mm (0.5in) across marked with a symmetrical pattern of darker streaks and spots, the lip has three equal lobes. Other localised names for the Spotted orchid includes Curly head, Dead man's finger, Adam and Eve, Adder's Flower, Kettle-case and Ring-finger.
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