Gymnadenia conopsea ssp conopsea   Fragrant Orchid C DD N

Gymnadenia conopsea ssp conopsea Gymnadenia conopsea ssp conopsea

Re-directed to Gymnadenia conopsea.

The orchid, without differentiating into sub species, is an easy one to identify as it has distinctive characteristics such as a long fairly thin curved spur and an obvious fragrance.

According to the various texts, the sub species are differentiated by looking at details such as the sepals and the shape of the labellum. In G. conopsea ssp conopsea, the commonest of the three sub species, the labellum clearly has lobes which are even more conspicuous and differentiated in G. conopsea ssp densiflora but hardly visible in G. conopsea ssp borealis. Having written that this separation into sub species ssp conopsea and ssp borealis is to me anyway one of the least convincing I have come across. The differentiating features appear to merge into one another without an obvious separation either of morphology or ecology.

G. conopsea ssp conopsea has mostly been recorded from the south of England around Hampshire but there is a significant population recorded from the area where this one was seen in the north east of England. It has been recorded from Scotland too as far as the north coast. There are also a few sites in south Wales and a few in Ireland but most records don't differentiate between these sub species.

Floor of Bishop Middleham Quarry, Durham 3rd July 2005

Added on 3rd July 2005, updated 2nd February 2009, updated 2nd April 2010, updated and re-directed 28th May 2012

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