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Northern Marsh Orchid

Dactylorhiza purpurella

Plant Data

Order:
Asparagales
Family:
Orchidaceae (Orchid)
Flowering Months:
JAN  FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  JUN  JUL  AUG  SEP  OCT  NOV  DEC
Flowers:
Purple-violet with dark markings and a central tooth. Short and stubby spur. Southern Marsh Orchid is paler in colour.
Fruit:
A seed capsule with numerous tiny dust-like seeds.
Leaves:
Broad, linear, lance-shaped and occasionally faintly blotched with dark spots.
Maximum Size:
25cm tall.
Foraging Notes:
The roots can be cooked and eaten. They are a source of 'salep' which is very nutritious. Salep is pale yellow and can be ground down into a powder. It smells unpleasant but has a sweet taste.
Never consume a wild plant unless you are 100% certain that it is safe to eat and you know that you have identified it correctly.
Habitats:
Fens, marshes, meadows, sand dunes, seaside.