- Approximate height: 40cm (15 inches)
- Recommended water levels: plant in ordinary to wet soil but not under water
- Flowering time: June
- Flower colour: Pink
- Supplied in an 11cm (1 litre) pot
This stunning native species has slender green lance-shaped leaves with beautiful purple spots, followed by a large flower in summer which is pale-pink with lilac speckles. The flower starts off in a tapered and triangular shape as it begins to open, and then becomes more cylindrical as it opens fully. The most common and widespread marsh orchid and easy to grow, it is found in damp woods and meadows, bogs and stream margins, but also sometimes in quite dry grassland and even roadside verges and roundabouts. It is reputed to avoid acid soils, although we have not found it particularly fussy here at the nursery. It spreads slowly by new plants forming off the central stem, and only rarely produces seedlings. Plant anywhere from a moist or boggy area to a standard flower bed, full sun or partial shade.
The plants we sell are flowering-size specimens, not the small seedlings you generally get when you buy orchids. You will receive one flowering-size plant. If planting it out into the garden, this is best done in spring before it flowers, or in autumn after it has flowered.
This plant has unusual roots (please see the picture), from which its Latin name is derived. They are few and fleshy, rather than a fine web, and do not hold on to the soil. Therefore when you take the the plant out of the pot some of the soil may fall out - this is normal.
If designing a planting scheme, we recommend approximately 2 Dactylorhiza fuchsii plants per square foot of ground, or 1 plant per linear foot of pond edge. Read more here on how to pot and care for your marsh plant.