Heath Spotted Orchid is a
perennial plant of the UK, typically found growing in wetland, damp heaths and meadows, to a mature height of up to 50cm.
The Heath Spotted Orchid is named after its common habitat and the markings on its elongated, pointed leaves. It bears visual similarities with the Common Spotted Orchid, which also has spotted leaves, but these are generally broader and more oval in shape. The Heath Spotted Orchid may also be distinguished from the Common Spotted Orchid by its flower shape, which is characterised by a much shorter, less prominent and more pointed central lobe to its lower lip.
Botanic classification and naming: Heath Spotted Orchid is a member of the Orchid (Orchidaceae) family. The genus name
'Dactylorhiza' identifies the plant as a Orchid with 'finger-like roots' and its species name 'maculata' means 'spotted (leaves)'.
Concerns: Orchids, like wild flowers in general, are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) from being removed from the wild. Rare orchids such as the Early Spider Orchid, Monkey Orchid and Lady's Slipper Orchid are additionally protected from picking and damage. The Heath Spotted Orchid is found widely distributed across the UK, but less commonly in the south and east.
Benefits: Pollination is by a range of bees and flies, but by Bumble bees in particular.
Benefits to wildlife are also indicated with orange icons in the plant profile bar at the top.