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694 Views 2 Replies Last post: May 13, 2011 5:53 PM by derekjohn RSS
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May 13, 2011 4:42 PM

Could you identify this, please?

I found this in a stretch of grassland almost in the centre of London and wondered what it was. To my untrained eye it appears to be a very small orchid.

 

It was the only specimen in quite a large patch of grassland near the Thames and another large expanse of wetland.

 

Many thanks,

Derek J Potter

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    May 13, 2011 5:40 PM (in response to derekjohn)
    Re: Could you identify this, please?

    Hi Derek,

    by British standards its a reasonably large orchid! Your plant is the Southern Marsh Orchid - Dactylorhiza praetermissa. In southern and central England this is the most frequent of the Marsh Orchids, although less common than the Common spotted orchid with which it will hybridise. The marsh orchids have hollow stems unlike the spotteds.The shape of the labellum - the lower lip of the flower, its colour and the nature of the darker markings on it are the main things that you look for initially when deciding what you've got. This looks absolutely typical - very often you find hybrid swarms which have an amazing mix of characters and can throw up some very vigorousand extremely pretty plants.

    Fred

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