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Longhorn Beetle 04



Common spotted orchid    Dactylorhiza fushsii


A very common orchid of grassland, waste ground, road verges, beaches and hedgerows, often with pink petals and spotted leaves.






Common Spotted Orchid 14 okellei



O'kelly's spotted orchid   Dactylorhiza fushsii okellyi


A controversial species claimed by the Irish.  Most specialists prefer this to be a broader petalled white variation of the Common Spotted orchid (especially the variant "albiflora" - above), but it's restriction to Eire and small areas of Kintyre in Scotland makes some claim to being worthy of species status.  The "spotted" refers to the leaves.  This also somewhat resembles the Heath Spotted Orchid (below).








Hebridean spotted orchid   Dactylorhiza fushsii hebridensis


Another controversial orchid thanks to the vagueness of taxonomy and the petty bickering between "orchidologists" (I call these people stamp collectors - always looking for rarities to put in their collection of "I've seen ...."!).  It is either s full species, a subspecies or variety according to who you speak to.  I just think it's pretty!

It occurs only in Northwestern Scotland, Shetland and Western Ireland, typically on calcareous soils (or machair) on the coast.    The difference between this and "normal" is supposedly the deeper colour and width of the petals, densely packed flowers with long spurs, and purplish stem.

This was photographed on the beach near Oban in 2005.





Heath Spotted Orchid 16





Heath Spotted Orchid 2



Heath spotted orchid   Dactylorhiza maculata


Told apart from the Common Spotted by the more spotted look (much less joining up to form lines) and narrower middle spike / lobe in the lower petal.


Hybrids do occur between these two species here, and each species is quite variable in its spotting on the petals and also on the leaves.  The width, colour and lobes on the petals is usually the best way to distinguish between them.  Otherwise, call it what you you have a gap in your stamp album?  Put it there!





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