Orchis militaris

Fam: Orchidaceae   Lindl. 
Genus:  Orchis L.
Species: Orchis militaris L.

Sp. PL ed. 1 (1753) 941 p. p.; O. Rivini Gouan Illustr. (1775) t. 74; Hayek Prodr. Fl. Penins.Balc.III (1933) 389

English Name: Military Orchid


Photo by Pryce Buckle


This plant grows to a height of 20 to 50 cm with a robust stem with rather drawn up oblong basal leaves. The inflorescence forms a purplish dense cone consisting of from 10 to 40 flowers. In each flower the sepals and side petals are gathered together to form a pointed "helmet" (whence it gets its name), a lilac colour outside and a veined purple colour inside. The central tongue finishes in two lobes separated by a tooth.From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Flowering Time:  April - last days of June

Reference: Wikipedia, “Flora of Republic Bulgaria”, vol. II, Bulg. Acad. Sci. Sofia, (1964) 

Distribution in Bulgaria: All of Bulgaria. Conspectus of the Bulgarian Vascular Flora = conspectus&gs_l= Zlc  


It is well distributed around Europe, reaching as far north as southern Sweden, but rather rare in the Mediterranean areas. It is extremely rare in Britain and a protected species, occurring only at the Rex Graham nature reserve in Suffolk and the Buckinghamshire Chilterns.

Conservation status and threats: protected species in Bulgaria by the Biodiversity Law. . Законодателство на Република България: Закон за биологичното разнообразие

Photo(s) taken on May, 17. 2005, Erma Gorge

Medical plant:

Placed by kind permission of the proprietor  

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