Wednesday, 10 July 2013

They did warn me...

I've been told by a number of people that getting in to orchids can be a dangerous game. As Mr Lowen said to me once, "you think large white-headed gulls are hard? Wait 'til you get in to dacts!". I laughed it off. I'd seen some strange looking creatures down at my dad's old place in Kenfig, and thought I was well prepared for problematic Dactylorhiza-types. Then, while at Holt Country Park in Norfolk over the weekend, this 'thing' appeared in front of me and left me flummoxed:

The plant was in a marshy area at the bottom of the country park's heath area, among many hundreds of Common Spotted Orchids. At a first glance I presumed it to be a Fragrant Orchid due to the lack of spots on the leaves and flowers but, to me, the size (huge) and shape of flowers is not right. The shape and structure is kind of reminiscent of Common Spotted Orchid, but the obvious lack of spots (and the overall flower structure) are not quite there.

So, is it a Fragrant x Common Spotted Orchid? I'd be more than interested in others' thoughts!


  1. Hi Josh,
    Every time I find an Orchid I photograph it and then sometimes find that it doesn't quite look like any true variety. I then put it down to being a Hybrid of some kind, as it often happens like this especially if there are lot in the immediate area. This is probably one of those occasions.

  2. Thanks Roy! Tend to agree. Crazy plants.

  3. Does'nt look like Fragrant, wrong habitat, try sniffing it! Could be a Southern or Early Marsh type, Pencil-thick stem is usually a good pointer to Marsh or Hybrid types and you will have to check leaves, bracts and flower shape. Birders that are not botanists often get into Orchids as even the common spp are relatively rare and the the rare ones are the icing on the cake.

    Best of luck.......

    Laurie -

  4. Thanks Laurie. Concensus is that this is a Fragrant (sp.) x Common Spotted Orchid. Apparently a very rare hybrid indeed. My best find of the year it seems!