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Nigritella rhellicani

Posted by
Johan Dierckx (Wijnegem, Belgium) on 18 September 2011 in Plant & Nature and Portfolio.

Series: European Terrestrial Orchids

Nigritella rhellicani (syn: Gymnadenia rhellicani, Nigritella nigra subsp. rhellicani) (NL: "Zwarte Vanilleorchis" / EN: ? / DE: Gewöhnliche Kohlröschen / FR: Nigritelle de Relikon, Orchis vanille) is a species of European terrestrial Orchid. In the Italian Dolomites two "black" Nigritella's can be found: N. rhellicani (this image) and N. austriaca see image posted on 29 aug 2011 ). The two are very similar in appearance, so a really close look is needed for proper determination. The plant height of both species is 15 (10-20 cm). The flowers of N.rhellicani are a little darker and therefore slightly more blackish. The inflorescence is longer than N.austriaca,almost always higher than broader. Typically is the the strong scent of chocolate / vanilla. The flowers are also slightly smaller (lip: 5-7 mm) than those of N. austriaca (lip: 7,5-9,6 mm). A good magnifying glass is needed to make the difference at the edge of the lower bracts visible: In N. rhellicani this often carries a seam of 0.05-0.1 mm long papillae while on N. austriaca the edge is smooth or bumpy, filled with more than a few very short papillae. N.austriaca blooms at the same location approximately 8-10 days before N.Rhellicani.

More images and info on European terrestrial orchids can be found on my Wordpress-Blog about European Orchids

Image: Passo Gardena (IT) - 10/07/2011

Canon EOS 400D 1/160 second F/5.6 ISO 200 150 mm

© Johan Dierckx

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All species are photographed in their natural habitat, without cutting or capturing them, and with maximal respect and the least possible disturbance to the environment.

(To see species in the same taxonomic rank (Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus), please use the tags provided with the image. The last tag is the Iso-code for the country where the image was taken. Image-date in DD/MM/YYYY format.)

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Canon EOS 400D
1/160 second
ISO 200
150 mm