Common Spotted Orchid – Dactylorhiza fuchsii

Common Spotted Orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsii) is one of the most common orchids in the UK. It can grow in a wide range of habitats such as roadside verges, hedgerows, old quarries, sand dunes and mashes, and are in bloom between June and August.

The name of the plant is due to the green leaves covered in purple, oval spots. The leaves form a rosette at the ground before the iconic spike appear with narrow leaves at the base of the flower. The flowers can be white or pale pink in colour but all have a distinctive darker pink spot or stripe on the three lobed lips. The flowers are densely packed around the cone shaped, clusterd stem.

The Common Spotted Orchid is often confused with its relative, the Heath Spotted Orchid, although they look similar, the Heath Spotted Orchid is a pale purple colour and the spots on the leaves are round rather than oval shaped. It is found in woodlands, scrublands, grassland areans, dunes, fens, heaths and around railways, roads and paths.

Height: 15 – 50cm
Flowering Time: May to July
Preferred Conditions: Grasslands, woodland, marsh, fens and chalk land.

Common Spotted Orchid - Dactylorhiza fushsii