Dactylorhiza majalis (Reichenb.) P.F. Hunt & Summerh.

Fam:   Orchidaceae Lindl.
Genus: Dactylorhiza Necker ex Nevski, (1937)
Species: Dactylorhiza majalis (Reichenb.) P.F. Hunt & Summerh.
English Name: Western marsh orchid, Bbroad-leaved marsh orchid, Fan orchid, Common marsh orchid, or Irish Marsh-orchid


Dactylorhiza majalis (Reichenb.) P. F. Hunt & Summerh.

Breitblättriges Knabenkraut

Beschreibung: Pflanze 15 - 70 cm hoch. Stengel hohl, hellgrün, oberwärts kantig und bisweilen purpura überlaufen. Laubblätter 4 - 7, länglich-eiförmig, in der Mitte am breitesten, seitlich abstehend, kurzscheidig, ziemlich flach, trubgrün, oberseits mit braunen bis schwärzlichen Flecken. Blütenstand 5 - 10 cm, zuerst pyramidenförmig, später walzlich, dicht- bis lockerblütig. Blüten lila-purpurn, mit dunkelroten Flecken und Linien. Sepalen eiförmig-lanzettlich, die seitlichen aufwärts gerichtet, das mittlere mit den Petalen helmbildend, Lippe breiter als lang, 8 - 12 mm lang, 10 - 14 mm breit, sattelförmig, dreilappig, Mittellappen vorn stumpf, oft sehr kurz. Seitenlappen breit rundlich. Sporn kegelförmig-zylindrisch, schief abwärts gerichtet, meist etwas kürzer als det Fruchtknoten.
Blutezeit: Von Mai bis Juli, je nach Höhenlage.
Höhenverbreitung: Von der Küste bis etwa 2600 m.
Standort: Auf feuchten Wiesen, in Quell- und Flachmooren.
Naturschutz: Durch Entwässerung vielerorts verschwunden.
Bastarde: Mit D. cruenta, maculata, praetermissa, purpurella, russowii, sambucina, C. viride und G. conopsea.
Bildnachweis: 21. 5. 1970, Backnang (Baden-Württemberg), H. Baumann. Das Bild zeigt den reichblütigen und gedrängten Blütenstand mit den dunkelrot gefärbten Blüten. Die Blütenlippe ist breit und besitzt eine helle Basis, die mit roten Punkten gezeichnet ist. Der Sporn ist mittellang und leicht abwärts gerichtet.

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Description:Plant 15 - 70 cm high. Stem hollow, with pale green, upper ward edgy and sometimes purpura overcrowded. Leaves 4 - 7, oblong-oval, in the middle widest, laterally protruding, short split, dull green, a top side brown to blackish spots. Inflorescence 5 - 10 cm, first pyramidal, later tubular, densely to sparsely located blossoms. Blossoms lilac purple, with dark red spots and lines. Sepals ovate-lanceolate, the lateral upwards, the middle with the petals forming helmet, lip broader than long, 8 - 12 mm long, 10 - 14 mm wide, saddle-shaped, three-lobed, middle lobe front blunt, often very short. Lateral lobes broadly rounded. Spur conical-cylindrical, crooked downwards, usually slightly shorter than det ovary.
Flowering time: From May to July, depending on the altitude.
Height Spread: From the coast to about 2600 m. Altitude.
Habitat: On damp meadows, in source and fens.
Nature Conservation: By drainage disappeared in many places.
Bastards: With D. cruenta, maculata, praetermissa, purpurella, russowii, sambucina, C. viride and G. conopsea.
Origin pictures: 21. 5. 1970, Backnang (Baden-Württemberg), H. Baumann. The picture shows the multiple blossom plant and crowded inflorescence with dark red colored blossoms. The lip of the blossom is wide and has a bright base, which is marked with red dots. The spur is medium long and slightly downward.

Die wildwachsende Orchideen Europas", H. Baumann, S. Künkele, Kosmos, Stuttgart, (1982)

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This species is not included in "Флора на НР България", том II, БАН, София, (1964),

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Dactylorhiza majalis (western marsh orchid, broad-leaved marsh orchid, fan orchid, common marsh orchid, or Irish Marsh-orchid) is a terrestrial Eurasian orchid.[2][3][4][5][6]
The western marsh orchid grows mainly in nitrogen-poor marsh areas that consist of several plant communities. More rarely, it is found in fens. Its flowering period begins at lower elevations as early as the beginning of May and ends in higher elevations at the end of July. The lowest blossoms usually open even before the stem has reached its full height.


Western marsh orchid (D. majalis), detail of inflorescence
The western marsh orchid is usually 15 to 40 cm (6 to 16 in.) tall, though some specimens may reach 60 cm (2 ft). Three to eight dark spotted leaves are distributed on the stem, which is hollow. The lower leaves are ovate to lanceolate and 6 to 18 cm (2⅜ to 7 in.) long and 1.5 to 3.5 cm (⅝ to 1⅜ in.) wide. The upper leaves are increasingly smaller and more lanceolate. The bracts are about as long as the blossom and cover it before it blooms. The densely flowered inflorescence, which is 4 to 15 cm (1½ to 6 in.) long, is at first conical, but distinctly cylindrical when in full blossom. The seven to forty blossoms are colored purplish red, rarely light pink or white. The lateral tepals of the external circle of the perianth stand obliquely or vertically upright. They are 7 to 12 mm (¼ to ½ in.) long and 2.5 to 5 mm (⅛ to 3⁄16 in.) wide. The middle tepal is smaller and forms a "helmet" together with the two lateral tepals of the internal circle. These are 6 to 11 mm (¼ to 7⁄16 in.) long. The trilobate lip is 5 to 10 mm (3⁄16 to ⅜ in.) long and 7 to 14 mm (¼ to 9⁄16 in.) wide. The shape and pattern of the lips are variable. In the lighter central area of the lip the markings are made up of lines, streaks, or dots. The spur is bent slightly downwards and is not quite as long as the ovary. The tuber has a palmate division and an irregular shape.
The western marsh orchid has a karyotype of two sets of forty chromosomes. The seed of this orchid contains no endosperm for the embryo. Therefore, germination can take place only by means of infection with a root fungus (mycorrhiza).
Dactylorhiza majalis is widespread across much of Europe and north-central Asia from Spain and Ireland to Siberia and Kazakhstan.[1]
In Germany the western marsh orchid is widespread but with several gaps. In many places, especially from western to northern Germany, it is extinct.
In Switzerland the western marsh orchid is also quite widespread. A significant gap is found south of the Aar between Aarau and Lake Neuchâtel.
Although the western marsh orchid is commonly found in some regions, it is nevertheless protected as an orchid.
As with many marsh plants, the numbers of this species have been dwindling for quite some time. The main causes are the entry of nitrogen via fertilizer, drying out of the habitat, and intensive conversion to pasture. The western marsh orchid does not react so sensitively to changes in its habitat as for example the early marsh orchid. It is usually the last of the native orchids to disappear. This tolerance makes it a still relatively common species.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Flowering Time: From May to July, depending on the altitude.

References: "Die wildwachsende Orchideen Europas", H. Baumann, S. Künkele, Kosmos, Stuttgart, (1982), Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, "Флора на НР България", том II, БАН, София, (1964),

Distribution in Bulgaria: In the Western and Central parts of Bulgaria, Die wildwachsende Orchideen Europas", H. Baumann, S. Künkele, Kosmos, Stuttgart, (1982), (Conspectus of the Bulgarian Vascular Flora) = conspectus&gs_l= Zlc.

Distribution: Central Europe, without Mediterranean and Countries on Western European coast

Conservation status and threats: not protected species in Bulgaria by the Biodiversity Law.Законодателство на Република България: Закон за биологичното разнообразие

Medical plant: - it is not -

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