Common Spotted orchid

Dactylorhiza fuchsii

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  3. Common Spotted orchid

About

The Common Spotted orchid is the most common of all UK orchids and the one you are most likely to see. It grows in many different habitats including woodland, roadside verges, hedgerows, old quarries, sand dunes and marshes; sometimes so many flowers appear together that they carpet an area with their delicate, pale pink spikes. It is in bloom between June and August.

How to identify

The Common Spotted orchid gets its name from its leaves which are greene with abundant purplish oval spots. They form a rosette at ground level before the flower spike appears; narrower leaves sheath the stem. The flowers range from white and pale pink through to purple, but have distinctive darker pink spots and stripes on their three-lobed lips. The flowers are densely packed in short, cone-shaped clusters.

Where to find it

Widespread.

Habitats

When to find it

  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August

How can people help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many nature reserves for the benefit of all kinds of wildlife, including many different species of plants. But these precious sites are under threat from development, intensive agricultural practices and climate change. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife happenings, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities, and be helping local wildlife along the way.

Species information

Common name
Common Spotted orchid
Latin name
Dactylorhiza fuchsii
Category
Wildflowers
Statistics
Height: up to 60cm
Conservation status
Common.