|IDENTIFICATION OF FRAGRANT ORCHIDS
All three species of Fragrant Orchid have a great propensity for their so-called 'identifying features' to overlap so much that quite often it is impossible to separate the three species. The identifying books don't help much either for there are at least 6 ID guides to separating the three species, but often they also disagree on which features are better for identifying them. The only fool-proof reliable way of identifying them for certain is by DNA analysis, whereupon the delineation between the three is clear-cut (it is by this means that the 3 species were split from just one species with 3 sub-species in the first place). But hardly anyone has a DNA analyser, let alone an affordable lightweight portable one for use in the field and even if they had, most plants have not yet been scanned or added to the DNA database (as far as your Author understands - as of March 2019).
Fragrant Orchids are possibly the hardest flowers to reliably and accurately identify in the field, and there are some that cannot. If any reader thinks I have mis-identified any, pleaase let me know which one(s) and what their real identities are - or if it is one of those unidentifiables and just needs deleting (I'll go and dig it up :-).
Some experts say that the 3 species don't flower at the same time, but others say that you cannot rely on this! Most of the 3 Fragrant Orchids dont grow together anyway, some areas have only one species, some two (as in Nob End) and a few (Waitby Greenriggs) all three species, but not usually all flowering at the same time.
But a Fragrant Orchids itself, counting the 3 as just one, is easily identified as a Fragrant Orchid, the trouble only comes when trying to determine which one...
Easily confused with :
Flower () [plants with similar names belonging to differing families]
Not to be semantically confused with :
Flower () [a plant with similar name]
Easily mistaken for :
Easily mis-identified as :
Gymnadenia species form Inter-Genera Hybrids with several other Orchids:
- (Gymnadenia borealis × Dactylorhiza fuchsii) to produce X Dactylodenia st-quintinii which is the commonest of the 3 hybrids with D. fuchsii.
- (Gymnadenia borealis × Dactylorhiza maculata) to produce X Dactylodenia evansii which is found in Northern and Western England and Scotland.
- (Gymnadenia borealis × Dactylorhiza incarnata) which was once found in West Cornwall in 1984.
- (Gymnadenia borealis × Dactylorhiza praetermissa) to produce X Dactylodenia lacerta which was found in Cornwall in 20016 and is now endemic.
- (Gymnadenia borealis × Dactylorhiza purpurella) to produce X Dactylodenia varia which was found in Northern England, Western Scotland, and County Down and might be endemic.
- (Gymnadenia borealis × Dactylorhiza traunsteinerioides) to produce which was found in Westmorland in 2013 and is endemic.
Intergenera hybrids should not really occur if the taxonomy is correct, intergenera hybrids usually indicate that the taxonomy is wrong, but in the case of Orchids, this taxonomy will never be sorted out, there are other unseen players on the field: their fungal partners.
Some similarities to :
Slight resemblance to :
Superficial resemblance to :
Uniquely identifiable characteristics
Distinguishing Feature :
No relation to :
Flower () [plants with similar names belonging to differing families].