Orchis purpurea Huds.

Fam: Orchidaceae   Lindl. 
Genus:   Orchis L.
Species: Orchis purpurea Huds.
English Name: Lady orchid


Orchis purpurea Huds.


Beschreibung: Pflanze groß und kräftig, 25 - 80 cm hoch. Laubblätter 4 - 8, am Grunde rosettig gehäuft. Die 3 - 6 Grundblätter gehören zu den größten der Gattung. Sie sind 6 - 17 cm lang und 2 - 6 cm breit, dunkelgrün glänzend. Nach oben folgen 1 - 2 scheidige Stengelblätter. Der Blütenstand ist groß und breit, 5 - 20 cm lang und reichblütig. Die Tragblätter sind häutig und nur 1/3 so lang wie der Fruchtknoten. Die Blüten gehören zu den größten der Gattung. Die Sepalen und Petalen bilden einen dichten Helm, der auf der Außenseite purpurn gefärbt ist, die Innenseite ist etwas heller. Die Sepalen sind 13 mm lang, die Petalen kleiner. Die Lippe ist tief dreigeteilt, der Mittellappen nochmals zweigeteilt. Der Mittellappen ist 4 - 5mal größer als die schmalen Seitenlappen, in der Form sehr variabel. Die Lippe ist hell gefärbt, 10 - 14 mm lang und 12 - 13 mm breit und mit zahlreichen purpurnen Papillen besetzt. Der Sporn ist 4 mm lang, 1/3 so lang wie der Fruchtknoten und abwärts gerichtet.
Blütezeit: Mitte April bis Anfang Juni.
Höhenverbreitung: Von der Küste bis 1500 m.
Standort: Schattenliebende Pflanze lichter Wälder und Gebüsche, auf kalkreichem Boden.
Naturschutz: Die stattliche Pflanze ist im gesamten Areal meist selten.
Bastarde: Nachgewiesen mit O. mascula, militaris und simia, tridentata und Aceras. Bildnachweis: 3.5.1981, Triest (Nordostitalien), H. Baumann.
"Die wildwachsende Orchideen Europas", H. Baumann, S. Künkele, Kosmos, Stuttgart, (1982),

*   *   *

Orchis purpurea Huds.

Description: Plant tall and strong, 25 - 80 cm high. Leaves 4 – 8,  at the base clustered in rosette. The 3 - 6 basal leaves are among the largest of the genus. They are 6 - 17 cm long and 2 - 6 cm wide, dark green shiny. Top follow 1 - 2 failed ended stem leaves. The inflorescence is large and wide, 5 - 20 cm long and floriferous. The bracts are colored leathery and only1/3 as long as the ovary. The blossoms  are among the largest of the genus. The sepals and petals form a tight helmet that is colored purple on the outside, the inside is a little brighter. The sepals are 13 mm long, the petals smaller. The lip is deeply divided into three parts, two parts of the middle lobe again. The middle lobe is 4 - 5 times greater than the narrow side lobes, in the form of highly variable. The lip is brightly colored, 10 - 14 mm long and 12 - 13 mm wide and filled with numerous purple papillae. The spur is 4 mm long, 1/3 as long as the ovary and downward.
Flowering time: mid April to early June.
Height Spread: From the coast to 1500 m.
Habitat: shade loving plant lights woods and bushes, on calcareous.
Conservation: The stately plant is usually rare in the entire area.
Bastards: Proved by O. mascula, militaris and simia, tridentata and Aceras.
Origin pictures: 03/05/1981, Trieste (North-East Italy), H. Baumann.
"Die wildwachsende Orchideen Europas", H. Baumann, S. Künkele, Kosmos, Stuttgart, (1982),

*   *   *

639 (9). O. purpurea Huds. Fl. AngL ed. 1 (1762) 334; O. fusca Jacq. Fl. Austr. IV (1776) 307;. Hayek Prodr. Fl. Penins. Balc. Ill (1933) 390 —Пурпурен салеп

Perennials. Oval tubers. Stem up to 75 cm (1 meter) tall, with 4 - 5 large leaves lanky, they hug the upper trunk. Inflorescence dense, cylindrical or oval. Bracts small, oval lancet, with a streak. Lateral perianth leaflets oval, pointed, middle linear lancet, all collected in a dark, reddish brown pointed helmet, dark purple or pink with red dots. Lipl usually whitish, with feather-like placed purple lines and dots tripartite. Side partitions linear, oblique cut, the middle to the base wedge-shaped, extended front and slashed two acute angle, with lanky and jagged small units with small awns or a small cog in the slot.. Spur cylindrical, about two times shorter than the ovary.
"Флора на НР България", том II, БАН, София, (1964),

*   *   *

Orchis purpurea, the lady orchid is a herbaceous plant belonging to the genus Orchis of the family Orchidaceae.
Orchis purpurea reaches on average 30–100 centimetres (12–39 in) of height. The leaves are broad and oblong-lanceolate, forming a rosette about the base of the plant and surrounding the flower spike. They are fleshy and bright green, and can be up to 15 cm long. The inflorescence is densely covered with up to 50 flowers. The sepals and upper petals are violaceous or purple (hence the Latin name purpurea of the species). The flower's labellum is pale pink or white, with a center spotted by clusters of violaceous or purple hairs. It is divided into three lobes; the outer two are small and narrow, and the inner is large, rounded, and heart-shaped. Flowering occurs in late April to June.

Range and habitat

This orchid can be found in most parts of Europe, northern Africa, Turkey and the Caucasus. It usually grows in sloping woodlands, particularly in mixed deciduous / oak forests, but occasionally occur in meadows. It prefers limestone or chalk soil and partially shaded locations at an altitude of 0–1,350 metres (0–4,429 ft) above sea level.


Orchis purpurea may be mistaken for the military orchid (Orchis militaris) or monkey orchid (Orchis simia). The three species often hybridize, making them difficult to identify, although the shape of the labellum is distinct to each species.


Deer, especially the muntjac, and slugs are among the greatest threats to this orchid. Human activity - picking flowers or uprooting plants - is also a concern.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

*   *   *

Flowering Time: Blooms: IV - VI

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

Distribution in Bulgaria: In thin shrubs and forests, clearings, etc., from the sea coast (Varna) to 1000 m altitude. At different places in Bulgaria, but not very often. (Conspectus of the Bulgarian Vascular Flora) = conspectus&gs_l= Zlc.

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

Medical plant: - it is not -

1. 2.


4. 5.

6. 7.



*   *   *

9. 10.

11. 12.

13. 14.

15. 16.

17. 18.


May the 7th 2016
Near highway "Lyulin" in the vicinity of Sofia town

 E-mail:                                                                                                                  © K.Nanev   


Copy right: K. Nanev© 2012. All rights reserved