Images here of Elder Flower Orchid. I came across today at Sandemar. A quite simply stunning plant. In a stand of about 80 plants today the purple form was predominant..
A remarkable and for several reasons a very exceptional Dactylorhiza orchid. Apart from being the smallest of the genus and one blooming in the earlier part of the spring ,the most intriguing fact, one rarely seen with orchids, is that its specimens appear in two completely different color variations. Besides the generally more abundant yellow specimens, larger populations also include plants with purplish red flowers. As today, certain stands may contain more purple than yellow specimens.
Dactylorhiza sambucina winters on its two forked egg-shaped tubers. Its hollow stem is up to 12 in/30 cm tall and covered with 4-7 elongated lanceolate spotless leaves . The edges of the tepals, the upper part of the stem and the scales, are reddish to purple on the red flowered plants. The inflorescence, or flower crown, is dense, rich and short and it bears 10-25 relatively large flowers. Apart from the aforementioned colors, the flowers can also be colored in white, pink or even a combination of yellow and purple . The flowers are dominated by a very thick, long spur attached to the back of the base of the unsegmented or only slightly three-lobed lip. The flowers smell like elder berry, hence the english name. Dactylorhiza sambucina prefers light forests and somewhat dry infertile meadows in medium and higher altitudes.mit blooms between March and July and grows only in Europe.