Dactylorhiza incarnata (Early March Orchid / Vleeskleurige orchis) is a very variable species both in flower colour and in stature. Nevertheless it is relatively distinctive because the individual flowers have a characteristic size and shape. They are always small, indeed disproportionately so on robust plants, compared to the stem, bracts and ovaries. The lip is no more than 9mm wide and usually rather less. Furthermore, the flowers appear even narrower because the sides of the lip are often folded downwards, sometimes sharply so. This narrow appearance is forther accentuated by the lateral sepals, which are held almost vertically above the flower as if it is holding its 'arms' up tu surrender ...
Image: Antwerpen (Belgium) 28/05/2010
© Johan Dierckx
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