Orchis ustulata L. 

Sp. PL ed, 1 (1753). 941 ; O. amoena Crantz Stirp.Austr. (1769) 490; Hayek Prodr. Fl. Penins. Bal. Ill (1933) 387

English Name: Burnt Tip Orchid


Photo: Pryce Buckle


Orchis ustulata grows from two spherical tubers with thick roots. It is believed that the plant can grow underground for 10-15 years before the first stem appears. Plants have 3 to 9 cm (1.2 to 3.5 in) leaves with prominent veins, along with a couple of leaves typically around the flower stem, which can reach 28 cm (11 in), though typically less than 13 cm (5.1 in) tall. Flowers are born in a dense cylindrical pattern, with individual plants capable of producing up to 70 flowers. The sepals and petals form a 3 mm (0.12 in) hood that is reddish-brown, over a white crimson-spotted lower lip that is 4 mm (0.16 in). Flowers have a strong fragrance that is described as similar to honey.

Flowering Time: O. ustulata flowers from May through June.  

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

Distribution in Bulgaria: Seldom in different floristic regions in almost whole Bulgaria.

(Conspectus of the Bulgarian Vascular Flora) = conspectus&gs_l= Zlc.


O. ustulata is distributed throughout central and south Europe, with its main populations in Spain and Greece in the south, reaching England and southern Sweden in the north, and reaching as far east as the Caucasus and Ural mountains. It grows as high as 2,400 m (7,900 ft) elevation in the Carpathian mountains and the Alps. It typically grows on chalky subsoil (occasionally acidic soils) in grassland; fens and open pine forest; mountain meadows, valleys, and ledges; wet grasslands. The plant's largest population in northwest Europe is on Parsonage Down, in Wiltshire, England.

Photo(s) taken on June, 24. 2003, Trigrad Gorge

Medical plant: 

Placed by kind permission of the proprietor

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

Distribution: Almost all of Europe except the Arctic zone, the Caucasus, Western Siberia.

Medical plant

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