BOG ORCHID

Hammarbya paludosa

Orchid Family [Orchidaceae]

month8jul month8july month8aug month8sep month8sept

status
statusZnative
flower
flower8green
morph
morph8zygo
petals
petalsZ5
type
typeZspiked
type
typeZspurred
stem
stem8round
rarity
rarityZuncommon

unknown date, Hebrides, scotland. Photo: © Phil And Ann Farrer
At just 8cm high (up to a maximum height of 15cm) it is our shortest orchid. Three here. Pale-green all over it is well camouflaged amongst the grass and vegetation.


Holmesly Bridge, Sway, Hampshire Photo: © Simon Melville
Flowers yellowish-green, possibly in a spiral up the stem.


Holmesly Bridge, Sway, Hampshire Photo: © Simon Melville
Two inner organs are just visibly poking out.


Holmesly Bridge, Sway, Hampshire Photo: © Simon Melville
Compared to most other orchids, the flowers are upside-down, with the 2mm long lip (which lacks a spur) twisted around to the top. The flowers are about 7mm across when measured vertically, top to bottom. The book says that the labellum (the lowest petal) is shorter than the other petals - well, your Author thinks it must be the perspective distortion for, to himself, it looks longer than the other petals! There's nowt so fickle than plants...


Holmesly Bridge, Sway, Hampshire Photo: © Simon Melville
The two leaves are elliptical and (not visible in the photograph) edged with tiny bulbils.


27th July 2014, Isle of Harris, Scottish Hebrides. Photo: © Dawn Nelson
The pale-green colour contrasts amidst the other darker-green aquatic plants. They have less than 20 flowers.


27th July 2014, Isle of Harris, Scottish Hebrides. Photo: © Dawn Nelson
You can just make out a submerged green ball-shaped bulge below water level.


27th July 2014, Isle of Harris, Scottish Hebrides. Photo: © Dawn Nelson
There are two opposite elliptic leaves on Bog Orchid which are between 0.5 to 2cm long; these here are half submerged. The book says that the leaves have a fringe of tiny bulbils on their edge, but your Author cannot see them here.

Although the book says it is to be found on wet sphagnum mosses in bogs, it doesn't say anything about any being half submerged in water as these Hebridean specimens are. It must have been a recent spell of heavy rain.


Some similarities (if you can find it) to :

  • Musk Orchid (Herminium monorchis) which is also green all over, but of a much lighter hue which smells not of musk but of honey and is taller at 15cm.
  • Fen Orchid (Liparis loeselii) which is rarer than Bog Orchid and again is yellowish-green and like bog orchid often has the un-spurred lip twisted around to the top. It is taller still at 20cm.
  • Common Twayblade (Neottia ovata) which at 60cm is even taller, but still yellowish-green. This orchid has a long and forked (again un-spurred) lip which hangs down in the normal poasition and is not twisted to appear on top as is Bog Orchid.
Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature :

No relation to : Bog Arum, Bog Asphodel, Bog Myrtle, Bog Pimpernel, Bog Pondweed, Bog Rosemary or Bog Stitchwort [plants with similar names found mainly in acidic upland bogs].

It is fairly rare, occurring in less than 80 hectads and grows on moist sphagnum mosses on acidic upland bogs.

It is in a Genus (Hammarbya) of its own.


USE BY BUTTERFLIES
LAYS EGGS ON CATERPILLAR CHRYSALIS BUTTERFLY
Arran Brown
Large Heath



  Hammarbya paludosa  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Orchidaceae  

Distribution
 family8Orchid family8Orchidaceae
 BSBI maps
genus8Hammarbya
Hammarbya
(Bog Orchid)

BOG ORCHID

Hammarbya paludosa

Orchid Family [Orchidaceae]