GREEN-WINGED ORCHID

GREEN-VEINED ORCHID

Anacamptis morio

(Formerly: Orchis morio)
Orchid Family [Orchidaceae]

month8may month8jun month8june

status
statusZnative
flower
flower8bicolour
flower
flower8mauve
inner
inner8white
morph
morph8zygo
petals
petalsZ5
type
typeZspiked
type
typeZspurred
stem
stem8round

12th May 2009, Lot Valley, France. Photo: © Hester Coley
Although individually spaced, tends to grow in large colonies, maybe up to 1000 or more at a time.


17th May 2013, Hayling Island, South Hampshire. Photo: © Dawn Nelson
A short plant, but 5 to 15cm tall, rarely up to 40cm with usually mauve to purple flowers.


May 2002, Pilch Field, Bucks Photo: © Phil And Ann Farrer
Between 7 and eight un-spotted blue-green narrow-ish basal leaves. Most of specimens have lilac to blackish-purple flowers, but some in a group may be pink, as on the right here, with only 1% being pure white.


May 2002, Pilch Field, Bucks Photo: © Phil And Ann Farrer
The lower lip is very wide and slightly nicked into two wings. Mostly mauve, with a central splurge of white which is spotted with several mis-shapen spots of a darker mauve.


May 2002, Pilch Field, Bucks Photo: © Phil And Ann Farrer
The green-veined lateral sepals can best be seen as such on the central flower, and the olive green veins themselves on the un-opened flower on the right. The rose-pink colour of this specimen is rather unusual, but some are also white, apart from the characteristic green veins on the wings.


May 2002, Pilch Field, Bucks Photo: © Phil And Ann Farrer
The broad lateral sepals have 6 to 7 bronze-coloured parallel veins, which gives the species the alternative name Green-veined Orchid.


1st May 2012, Deal, Kent. Photo: © Barney Case
Less than three leaves clasping the stem.


1st May 2012, Deal, Kent. Photo: © Barney Case
Two close together here, one twice as tall as the other.


17th May 2013, Hayling Island, South Hampshire. Photo: © Dawn Nelson
The stripes on the wings usually appear green later. Between 5 to 12 flowers on short stubby curved 'stems' or ovaries. Short stubby and slightly-curved spur behind each flower.


1st May 2012, Deal, Kent. Photo: © Barney Case
A rather small and tight three-lipped cowl. Flower markings few but bold.


1st May 2012, Deal, Kent. Photo: © Barney Case
A whitish central lower lip between two wider and coloured lower wings. Few but bold markings on the central portion only.


12th May 2009, Lot Valley, France. Photo: © Hester Coley
A pink specimen. Only pink or white specimens have a propensity to possess an odour.


12th May 2009, Lot Valley, France. Photo: © Hester Coley
Only 1% of specimens are pure white, as here, but they still have green-striations on the lateral sepals.


Hybridizes with :

  • Loose-Flowered Orchid (Anacamptis laxiflora) to produce Anacamptis × alata, but which seems to have never been found anywhere in the UK over the last 80 years, apart from in the Shetland Islands before 1986 (according to the BSBI website).
  • Heath Spotted-Orchid (Dactylorhiza maculata) and found near Chippenham, Wiltshire, in 1994.
  • Early-Purple Orchid (Orchis mascula) but it is not common.

Some similarities to : stunted and dark-purple coloured versions of Early-Purple Orchid lacking spots on the leaves, but the green veins on the outer sepals gives it away.

Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature : when it is recognised as an orchid, the green veins on the outer sepals.

Not to be confused semantically with: Green Flowered Helleborine [another orchid].

No relation to : Green Snowdrop, Green Hellebore, Green Alkanet, Green Amaranth, Green Nightshade, Green Field Speedwell, Green Hound's-tongue, Green-berried Elder, [plants with similar names].

Flowers late April to early June.

Habitat: Meadows and grassland. Strictly not a rare plant, appearing in about 300 hectads in the decade starting from AD2000, but so far this decade, albeit yet early, it has only been espied in but 52 hectads, all in southern England (although a population in South Lancashire has not yet made it into the BSBI data this year).

Most specimens are without scent, but some pale coloured ones such as pink or white ones may smell strongly of vanilla (or of custard if the reader prefers - as do some garden carnations).


  Anacamptis morio  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Orchidaceae  

Distribution
 family8Orchid family8Orchidaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Anacamptis
Anacamptis
(Pyramidal Orchids)

GREEN-WINGED ORCHID

GREEN-VEINED ORCHID

Anacamptis morio

(Formerly: Orchis morio)
Orchid Family [Orchidaceae]

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