Family: Orchid [Orchidaceae]


Anacamptis

Calypso

Cephalanthera

Coeloglossum

Corallorhiza

Cypripedium

Dactylorhiza

Epipogium

Epipactis

Goodyera

Gymnadenia

Hammarbya

Herminium

Himantoglossum

Liparis

Neotinea

Neottia

Ophrys

Orchis

Platanthera

Pseudorchis

Serapias

Spiranthes

Non-natives

Most Orchids are hemi-parasitic on underground fungi, obtaining some of their nutrients from the fungus whilst not benefiting the fungus in any known way (if both benefited, it would be 'mutualistic' [formerly known as 'symbiotic']). The fungal microrrhizal hyphae filaments penetrate parts of the orchid and supply it with energy, but certain parts of the orchids, such as the tubers and other storage organs, possess phytoalexins which are toxic to the fungi and thus penetration there is highly discouraged. The hyphae, which penetrate some cells of the orchid, form loops and coils within them called 'pelotons'. At intervals the orchid digests the pelotons absorbing the nutrients: water, carbohydrates, mineral salts and other organic materials. The main fungal associates with orchids are the Basidomycetes and Rhizoctonia groups of fungi (some other members of the latter group are soil saprotrophs or pathogens). Thus orchids cannot be made to grow just anywhere, most require a fungal donator to be present in the soil. Many orchid seeds may lie dormant in the soil for up to 10 years before the correct fungus comes along.

Some species of orchid are highly specific, able to use just one particular fungus (orchids belonging to the Spirantes, Goodyera and Liparis genera), but most are not really that bothered and can utilise many species of fungi, sometimes many more than one at once. Those orchids that are dependant upon just one fungus are usually rare, because they simply will not grow without it that one fungus, Burnt-tip Orchid being a good example.

Most orchids can also photosynthesise once above ground; most have green leaves containing chlorophyll, but still continue to supplement their needs with the aid of fungal hyphae. But there are a few orchids which are totally dependant upon the fungus even when the aerial parts are extant, such as Coralroot Orchid, Ghost Orchid, Bird's-nest Orchid and Yellow Bird's-nest Orchid, since they lack chlorophyll altogether. The latter orchids are thus fully saprophytic.



[CYPRIPEDIUM] Lady's-slipper

Lady's Slipper Orchid (Cypripedium calceolus). Photo: © Roger Hewitt



[ANACAMPTIS] Pyramidal Orchids

 

[Anacamptis]
PYRAMIDAL ORCHID HYBRID CHART
[Anacamptis]
PYRAMIDAL ORCHID
HYBRIDS
BSBI MAPS
Loose-flowered
Orchid

(laxiflora)
Green-winged
Orchid

(morio)
Pyramidal
Orchid

(pyramidalis)
Pyramidal
Orchid

(pyramidalis)
    Anacamptis pyramidalis
x
Gymnadenia conopsea

(X Gymnanacamptis anacamptis)

Green-winged
Orchid

(morio)
Anacamptis
×
alata
Orchis mascula
x
Anacamptis morio

(X Anacamptorchis morioides)

 
Loose-flowered
Orchid

(laxiflora)
Anacamptis
×
alata
 

In addition to the above hybrid, Pyramidal Orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalis) also hybridises with Fragrant Orchid sens. lat.(Gymnanadenia conopsea) which is from a differing Genus. In the above chart it is shown in a green square (which is on the forbidden diagonal because it doesn't hybridise with another Anacamptis species). The resulting hybrid, X Gymnanacamptis anacamptis (Anacamptis pyramidalis x Gymnadenia conopsea) is therefore an inter-Genus hybrid, and cannot be shown on the above chart. That being said, it hasn't been seen in the England since AD2000, but is found in one hectad square on the coastline of Northern Ireland.

Another cross-genus hybrid is that between Green-winged Orchid (Anacamptis morio) and Early-purple Orchid (Orchis mascula) which is from a differing genera (although both are in the same family). The resulting cross is called X Anacamptorchis morioides. It too is shown in a green square on the forbidden diagonal. There are thus no species belonging to the Anacaptis Genus which do not (at the moment) hybridise (with something).

All UK species hybridise, there are no UK species lacking hybrids.
Pyramidal Orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalis). Photo: © RWD

Green-Winged Orchid (Anacamptis morio) Photo: © Phil And Ann Farrer

Loose-Flowered Orchid (Anacamptis laxiflora) Photo: © RWD



[GYMNADENIA] Fragrant Orchids

 

[Gymnadenia]
FRAGRANT ORCHIDS HYBRID CHART
[Gymnadenia]
FRAGRANT ORCHIDS
HYBRIDS
BSBI MAPS
Heath
Fragrant
Orchid

(borealis)
Chalk
Fragrant
Orchid

(conopsea)
Chalk
Fragrant
Orchid

(conopsea)
  Pseudorchis albida
x
Gymnadenia borealis

(A Hybrid)

Heath
Fragrant
Orchid

(borealis)
Anacamptis pyramidalis
x
Gymnadenia conopsea

(X Gymnanacamptis anacamptis)


Dactylorhiza incarnata
x
Gymnadenia conopsea

(A Hybrid)

 

The Gymnadenia genus exhibits no same-genus hybrids, but has three inter-genus hybrids. The first is between Chalk Fragrant Orchid (Gymnadenia conopsia) and Small-white Orchid (Pseudorchis albida), the hybrid has no other name other than Pseudoorchis albida x Gymnadenia borealis.

Two others occupy the same green square, for both are hybrids with Heath Fragrant Orchid (Gymnadenia conopsea):
The first of these being with Pyramidal Orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalis) yielding the hybrid X Gymnanacamptis anacampti
The second being with Early Marsh-orchid (Dactylorhiza incarnata), the result having no other name than Dactylorhiza incarnata x Gymnadenia conopsea.

Gymnadenia SPECIES LACKING HYBRIDS
(Gymnadenia conopsea s.l.) Fragrant Orchid
(Gymnadenia densiflora) Marsh Fragrant Orchid

Fragrant Orchid. (Gymnadenia conopsea ssp. conopsea) Photo: © RWD



[DACTYLORHIZA] Marsh Orchids

   

MARSH ORCHID HYBRID CHART (shrunk)
Hybrid Chart: MARSH ORCHID (larger)

BSBI DISTRIBUTION MAPS OF INTER-GENERA HYBRIDS BETWEEN MARSH-ORCHIDS
Inter-Genera Hybrid Parents
X Dactyloglossum mixtum Coeloglossum viride x Dactylorhiza fuchsii
(Frog Orchid X Common Spotted-orchid)
X Dactyloglossum viridellum Coeloglossum viride x Dactylorhiza purpurella
(Frog Orchid X Northern Marsh Orchid)
X Dactyloglossum conigerum Coeloglossum viride x Dactylorhiza maculata
(Frog Orchid X Heath Spotted-orchid)
X Pseudorhiza bruniana Dactylorhiza maculata x Pseudorchis albida
(Heath Spotted-orchid X Small-white Orchid)
X Dactylodenia legrandiana Dactylorhiza maculata x Gymnadenia conopsea
(Heath Spotted Orchid X Chalk fragrant Orchid)
X Dactylodenia st-quintinii Dactylorhiza fuchsii x Gymnadenia conopsea
(Common Spotted-orchid X Chalk fragrant Orchid)
X Dactylodenia varia Gymnadenia conopsea x Dactylorhiza purpurella
(Chalk fragrant Orchid X Northern Marsh-orchid)
X Dactylodenia wintoni Dactylorhiza praetermissa x Gymnadenia conopsea
(Southern Marsh-orchid X Chalk fragrant Orchid)
Dactylorhiza incarnata
x
Gymnadenia borealis
Dactylorhiza incarnata x Gymnadenia conopsea
(Early Marsh-orchid X Chalk Fragrant Orchid)

OTHER EARLY MARSH ORCHIDS
(which may be involved in hybridisation above)
(Dactylorhiza incarnata subsp. coccinea) Early Marsh-orchid
(Dactylorhiza incarnata subsp. cruenta) Early Marsh-orchid
(Dactylorhiza incarnata subsp. gemmana) Early Marsh-orchid
(Dactylorhiza incarnata subsp. incarnata) Early Marsh Orchid
(Dactylorhiza incarnata subsp. ochroleuca) Early Marsh-orchid
(Dactylorhiza incarnata subsp. pulchella) Early Marsh-orchid

Common Spotted Orchid. (Dactylorhiza fuchsii) Photo: © RWD

Heath Spotted Orchid. (Dactylorhiza maculata ssp. ericetorum) Photo: © Celia Lewis

Early Marsh Orchid sub-species pulchella.
(Dactylorhiza incarnata))
Photo: © RWD

Northern Marsh Orchid.
(Dactylorhiza purpurella ssp. majaliformis)
Photo: © RWD

Southern Marsh Orchid. (Dactylorhiza praetermissa) Photo: © RWD



[NEOTTIA] [formerly LISTERA] Twayblades

Bird's-Nest Orchid (Neottia nidus-avis) Photo: © Phil And Ann Farrer

Common Twayblade (Neottia ovata). Photo: © RWD



[HAMMARBYA] Bog Orchid

Bog Orchid (Hammarbya paludosa) Photo: © Simon Melville



[HERMINIUM] Orchids

Musk Orchid (Herminium monorchis) Photo: © Dawn Nelson



[ORCHIS] Orchids

 

[Orchis]
LADY ORCHID HYBRID CHART
[Orchis]
LADY ORCHID
HYBRIDS
BSBI MAPS
Man
Orchid

(anthropophora)
Early-purple
Orchid

(mascula)
Lady
Orchid

(purpurea)
Monkey
Orchid

(simia)
Monkey
Orchid

(simia)
Orchis
×
bergonii
  Orchis
×
angusticruris
Lady
Orchid

(purpurea)
    Orchis
×
angusticruris
Early-purple
Orchid

(mascula)
  Orchis mascula
x
Anacamptis morio

(X Anacamptorchis morioides)

   
Man
Orchid

(anthropophora)
    Orchis
×
bergonii

Orchis anthropophera was formerly in another genus, Aceras and was then called Aceras anthropopherus (note the subtle change in the name ending too), but has since been moved into the Orchis Genus, where it's hybrid with Monkey Orchid (Orchis simia) no longer makes it an inter-genera hybrid.

There is, however, another Orchis species that does indeed cross hybridise with another Genus, that of Orchis mascula (Early Purple Orchid) which crosses with Anacamptis morio (Green-winged Orchid) to produce the cross-genus hybrid X Anacamptorchis moroides. This hybrid is shown in a green square, occupying a position on the forbidden diagonal of the chart which is just a convenient place to put it.

Orchis SPECIES LACKING HYBRIDS
(Orchis militaris) Military Orchid

Early Purple Orchid. (Orchis mascula) Photo: © RWD

Man Orchid (Orchis anthropophora) Photo: © Kelly Finney

Military Orchid (Orchis militaris) Photo: © Kelly Finney

Monkey Orchid (Orchis simia) Photo: © Kelly Finney



[OPHRYS] Bee Orchids

 

[Ophrys]
BEE ORCHID HYBRID CHART
[Ophrys]
BEE ORCHID
HYBRIDS
BSBI MAPS
Bee
Orchid

(apifera)
Late
Spider-orchid

(fuciflora)
Fly
Orchid

(insectifera)
Early
Spider
Orchid

(sphegodes)
Early
Spider
Orchid

(sphegodes)
    Ophrys
×
hybrida
Fly
Orchid

(insectifera)
apifera
×
insectifera
  Ophrys
×
hybrida
Late
Spider-orchid

(fuciflora)
Ophrys
×
albertiana
   
Bee
Orchid

(apifera)
Ophrys
×
albertiana
apifera
×
insectifera
 

All UK species hybridise, there are no UK species lacking hybrids.

Bee Orchid. (Ophrys apifera) Photo: © Roger Foden

Wasp Orchid (Ophrys apifera var. trollii) Photo: © Kelly Finney

Fly Orchid (Ophrys insectifera) Photo: © Phil And Ann Farrer

Early Spider Orchid (Ophrys sphegodes) Photo: © Kelly Finney



[EPIPACTIS] Helleborines

The Helleborines are in two genera, the Cephalanthera, and the Epipactis, the main difference between the two being that Cephalanthera species have flowers that do not fully open so the un-spurred lip is often hidden whereas the un-spurred lips of Epipactis species are easily visible.

 

[Epipactis]
HELLEBORINE HYBRID CHART
[Epipactis]
HELLEBORINE
HYBRIDS
BSBI MAPS
Dark-red
Helleborine

(atrorubens)
Broad-leaved
Helleborine

(helleborine)
Violet
Helleborine

(purpurata)
Violet
Helleborine

(purpurata)
  Epipactis
×
schulzei
Broad-leaved
Helleborine

(helleborine)
Epipactis
×
schmalhausenii
Epipactis
×
schulzei
Dark-red
Helleborine

(atrorubens)
Epipactis
×
schmalhausenii
 

Epipactis SPECIES LACKING HYBRIDS
(Epipactis dunensis) Dune Helleborine
(Epipactis leptochila sens. str.) Narrow-lipped Helleborine
(Epipactis palustris) Marsh Helleborine
(Epipactis phyllanthes) Green-flowered Helleborine
(Epipactis sancta) Linsdisfarne Helleborine

Marsh Helleborine (Epipactis palustris) Photo: © RWD

Broad-Leaved Helleborine (Epipactis helleborine) Photo: © Roger Foden

Dark-Red Helleborine (Epipactis atrorubens) Photo: © Jim Barton

Dune Helleborine (Epipactis dunensis) Photo: © Jim Barton

Narrow Lipped Helleborine (Epipactis leptochila) Photo: © Phil And Ann Farrer



[CEPHALANTHERA] Helleborines

The Helleborines are in two genera, this the Cephalanthera, and the Epipactis, the main difference between the two being that Cephalanthera species have flowers that do not fully open so the un-spurred lip is often hidden.

White Helleborine (Cephalanthera damasonium) Photo: © Barney Case

Narrow-Leaved Helleborine (Cephalanthera longifolia) Photo: © Kelly Finney



[SPIRANTHES] Lady's-Tresses

Autumn Lady's Tresses (Spiranthes spiralis) Photo: © Rupert Browning

Irish Lady's-Tresses (Spiranthes romanzoffiana) Photo: © RWD



[PSEUDORCHIS] Small-White Orchid

Small-White Orchid (Pseudorchis albida) Photo: © RWD



[PLATANTHERA] Butterfly-Orchids

Greater Butterfly Orchid (Platanthera chlorantha) Photo: © Phil And Ann Farrer

Lesser Butterfly-Orchid (Platanthera bifolia) Photo: © RWD



[NEOTINEA] Twayblades

Dense-Flowered Orchid (Neotinea maculata) Photo: © Phil And Ann Farrer

Burnt-Tip Orchid (Neotinea ustulata) Photo: © Paul Bishop



[COELOGLOSSUM] Frog Orchid

Frog Orchid (Coeloglossum viride) Photo: © Phil And Ann Farrer



[GOODYERA] Creeping Lady's-Tresses

Creeping Lady's Tresses (Goodyera repens) Photo: © Phil And Ann Farrer



[CALYPSO] Calypso Orchids

Calypso Orchid (Calypso bulbosa) Photo: © Phil And Ann Farrer

Lady Orchid (Orchis purpurea) Photo: © Phil And Ann Farrer



[HIMANTOGLOSSUM] Lizard Orchid

Lizard Orchid (Himantoglossum hircinum) Photo: © Phil And Ann Farrer

Red Helleborine (Cephalanthera rubra) Photo: © Kelly Finney



NON-NATIVE ORCHIDS

[LIMODORUM] Limodores

Violet Limodore (Limodorum abortivum) Photo: © Kelly Finney



[SERAPIAS] Tongue-Orchids

Tongue Orchid (Serapias lingua) Photo: © RWD

Family: Orchid [Orchidaceae]

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