Orchis mascula – Early-purple Orchid
Early-purple Orchid is fairly common and can be found scattered in the fjords and coastal areas in most of the country north to Troms. Telemark and Trøndelag found also far away from the coast. Early-purple Orchid growing on calcareous ground in pine and deciduous forest, the grasslands and pastures, heaths and sometimes in marshes. As previously mentioned, the species resting in midsummer after seed production. The species thrives therefore best on sunny warm places that later in the summer dries out while the plant is resting. New growing season begins in late summer.
Samples can grow up to 40 cm high and has a rough stalk with 5-6 broad leaves. The leaves are first during the growing season as a sleeve around the inflorescence. The flowers are large and usually red-violet. Nuances may arise from lighter reddish purple to pure white. Flower lip are three patched with dark spots on the lip. The two remaining petals splay outward. Spur is club-shaped and pointing upwards. It is easy to detect because it is beautiful, eye-catching and often higher than the surrounding vegetation.
Early-purple Orchid is early flowering and blooms recently in May in southern Norway. The flowers fragrances well outdoors, but getting bad odours indoors.