Nigritella rubra (syn: Nigritella miniata ; Gymnadenia rubra) (NL: "Rode Vanilleorchis" / EN: Red Vanilla Orchid / DE: Rotes Kohlröschen / FR: Nigritelle rouge) is a species of European terrestrial Orchid. Like its very close relative Nigritella rhellicani this orchid grows in the mid-European alpine zone and can be found in short grassland and alpine meadows between 1,600 and roughly 3,000 metres above sea level. It is less common than the Black Vanilla Orchid. It grows in dry to slightly moist conditions in open sunny positions only on calcareous substrates. It flowers from mid-June to the middle of August. The infloresence of Nigritella rubra is conical at first, becoming egg-shaped when all the flowers are open and has an intense luminous ruby-red colour (rarely pink). Sepals and petals should have about the same width and the margins of the lip are turned upwards to form a narrow tube in the lower quarter (very important characteristics for proper determination). The plant grows from 5 - 30cm in height and has between 7 and 12 leaves at the base of the stem and several further bract-like leaves growing up the stem to just below the flower.
Image: Brenta (IT) - 15/07/2011
© Johan Dierckx
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