Common Spotted-orchid

Dactylorhiza fuchsii

Dactylorhiza fuchsii, the common spotted orchid, is a common species of orchid. It is widespread across much of Europe, with the range extending eastward into Siberia, Mongolia and Xinjiang. The species is also reportedly naturalised in the Canadian Province of Ontario.

Dactylorhiza fuchsii is widely variable in colour and height, ranging from 15 to 60 cm in height. The dense and rich-flowered inflorescence (flower spike), produced in June–August, is at first conical then cylindrical. The flower colour can vary from white to pale purple with purple spots, a symmetrical pattern of dark purple loops or dots and dashes. The lip has three lobes. The bracts are usually shorter than the flower. The lip is smaller than that of the very similar Dactylorhiza maculata and has three deeper cuts. The middle lobe is more than half as large as a lateral lobe. Some colonies are highly perfumed, attractive to day-flying moths. The leaves are narrow lanceolate, keeled and often dark-spotted.
Common Spotted-orchid - Dactylorhiza fuchsii Seen in June 2020 in Silsombos, Belgium. 
 Belgium,Common Spotted-orchid,Dactylorhiza fuchsii,Geotagged,Summer


This plant belongs to a problematic group of orchids. D. fuchsii is very variable in flower colour and flower morphology, plant height and the scent of flowers. This is due to the ease of introgression (the transfer of genetic material from one sympatric species to another, only partially isolated from the first, through interspecific hybridization and repeated backcrossing to a parental species), the ability of these plants to adapt quickly and easily to habitat and different substrates and possibly other causes. As a result, a multitude of forms have been defined for this plant. The World Checklist of Kew Gardens lists over 25 varieties, of which 7 are recognized as valid.
Common Spotted Orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsii) (June 2013) Seen in the grassland below Duart Castle, in Mull. Common Spotted-orchid,Dactylorhiza fuchsii,Geotagged,United Kingdom


D. fuchsii is a Eurosiberian species occurring over Europe from Ireland in the west eastwards to Mongolia, the Altai Mountains and across northern Asia. It is sympatric with D. maculata.

Typical habitats are, variously across the range, conifer, beech and chestnut forests, moderately wet meadows, bogs and margins of streams. The preferred substrate is supposedly calcareous although it seems not to be particularly linked to this type of substrate. In mountain, subalpine and alpine ecosystems D. fuchsii is found from 900 to 2300 m above sea level. Elsewhere it is found from sea level.

The full list of areas (World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions) for D. fuchsii is Finland, Great Britain, Iceland, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Austria, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland, Corse, Italy. Romania, Yugoslavia, Belarus, Baltic States, Central European Russia, East European Russia, North European Russia, South European Russia, Northwest European Russia, Ukraine, Altay, Buryatiya, Chita, Irkutsk, Krasnoyarsk, Tuva, West Siberia, Yakutiya, Xinjiang, Mongolia.

In Italy it is found mainly in the Alps in the northern Apennines. In Britain it is widespread, the most common orchid, occurring from alkaline marshes to chalk downland. After the bee orchid, Ophrys apifera, it is the most successful orchid coloniser of waste land.


Some text fragments are auto parsed from Wikipedia.

Status: Unknown