X Dactylodenia st-quintinii   Hybrid Orchid DD N

X Dactylodenia st-quintinii

This is a truly strange looking plant if you are used to seeing our British orchids. It is an intergeneric cross between two different orchid species Gymnadenia borealis (Heath Fragrant Orchid) and Dactylorhiza fuchsii (Common Spotted Orchid). It looks nothing much like either of the parents both of which grow nearby. On some of the florets there are markings similar to those on a Dactylorhiza fuchsii and the point of the labellum reminds you of that orchid as does the overall white colouring but the long thin curved spur is exactly like that of Gymnadenia species. I should have tried an olfactory test as the Fragrant Orchids nearby were distinctly sweet scented in the summer sun - but I forgot.

This plant was clearly past its best but as you might expect for an inter generic hybrid it was much more obviously a hybrid than the intra Dactylorhiza species crosses such as Dactylorhiza x venusta (Spotted x Northern marsh) also found in the area.

This hybrid occurs where the parents are found and it is recorded from isolated sites all over mainland Britain. The majority of these are in southern England (where there is the highest concentration of expert botanists able to identify such a plant).

Bishop Middleham Quarry floor, 3rd July 2005

Added on 6th July 2005, updated 25th February 2012

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