Dactylorhiza x venusta   Hybrid Marsh Orchid C DD N

Dactylorhiza x venusta plant 1 Dactylorhiza x venusta plant 2

This is the hybrid between the two commonest orchids in these parts: Dactylorhiza fuchsii (Common Spotted Orchid) and Dactylorhiza purpurella (Northern Marsh Orchid). We actually saw several different plants of this orchid and could therefore examine the differences which appear as the hybrid shows more features of one parent or the other. The RHS specimen had the deep purple of D. purpurella and some of the labellum markings of D. fuchsii and was quite convincing as a hybrid. The LHS specimen though I identified quickly and wrongly as Dactylorhiza maculata (Heath Spotted-orchid) forgetting that we were in calcareous country a soil in which it doesn't like to grow.

Because one of the parents is predominantly northern (D. purpurella) this hybrid is most often recorded in northern England, northern Ireland, north Wales and Scotland but hardly at all in the southern and central counties of England.

LHS: banks of River Tees, RHS: Bowlees quarry Teesdale 21st June 2005

Added on 20th October 2005, updated 11th December 2008, updfated 28th March 2010

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