Common Spotted-orchid – Dactylorhiza maculata ssp. fuchsii
Sweden has lots of Common Spotted-orchid, but otherwise sparsely in the rest of Scandinavia. It’s spread downwards on the European continent to the Alps. In Norway, the fairly common throughout the country as far north as East Finnmark, but are sparse in the coastal areas from Agder to Sunnfjord. In Rogaland specimens only found a few places.
Common Spotted-orchid resembles Heath Spotted-orchid. Long thought that they were the same species, but with countless variations. But DNA analysis has shown that they have different chromosome setup and chromosome numbers are different. Heath Spotted-orchid has chromosome number 2n = 80, and Common Spotted-orchid has 2n = 40. In Sweden and Denmark they be viewed as two subspecies of the same species (Dactylorhiza maculata ssp. maculata and D. maculata ssp. fuchsii ) even with various chromosome numbers.
When checking, you will quickly learn that Heath Spotted-orchid and Common Spotted orchid may have characteristics of both species and that both can vary from one discovery place to another discovery place. Common Spotted-orchid is usually from 30 to 50 cm high, but can be considerably higher. The leaves are often directed upwards and can be spotless or with larger and fewer brown spots one of Heath Spotted-orchid. The bottom leaf is quite wide, oval and rounded edges, tapering generally upward and inflorescence have many flowers. Flower colour may be nearly white, usually pale pink or violet, but flowers most often provides a darker appearance than at Heath Spotted-orchid. Plants that have bright flowers often leaves no spots. Flower lip is deeply three-lobed with triangular middle lobe which is clearly longer than the other two lobes.
Common Spotted-orchid lime demanding and growing rare on the marsh where you’ll find Heath Spotted-orchid, but thrives well in bright, open spaces in the forest. It’s also often the roadsides where it can form dense populations and is great view if you see it when you full speed driving by in your car.