Common spotted-orchid Dactylorhiza fuchsii

Status Green - Least concern
Best Time to See June, July, August
Colour
Habitat Woodland, Grassland, Wetland

The UK's most common orchid (as its name suggests).

The spires of the common-spotted orchid enliven many wild places, particularly chalk and limestone downs. The flowers themselves can vary from deep to light pink, but have distinctive darker pink spots and stripes on their three-lobed lips. The flowers are densely packed in short, cone-shaped clusters. The leaves are marked with wide oval-shaped dark spots. They form a rosette at ground level before flower spikes appears. Narrower leaves sheath the stem.

It can sometimes be confused with its cousin, the heath spotted-orchid. The latter, however, is more of a pale purple colour and the spots on the leaves are round.

The common spotted-orchid is the County Flower of West Lothian/Linlithgowshire. Find out what your County Flower is by clicking here.

Distribution

Apart from the Scottish Highlands, the common spotted-orchid is found throughout the UK

Habitat

Damp grassland and open woods.

Best time to see

When in flower, from June to August.

More meadow orchids: