John and Gerry's    Orchids of Britain and Europe
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Gymnadenia conopsea x Dactylorhiza purpurella


This is an uncommon hybrid that has now been formally named and recognized as       X Dactylodenia varia.

It may occur wherever the two parent species grow in close association but given the more limited north western European range of D. purpurella the opportunity for hybridization is largely limited to Britain, Holland and the Scandinavian countries.

In Britain it has been recorded in small numbers from North Wales, Northern
England and Scotland though given the recent discovery of D. purpurella in the
dune systems of South Wales where G. conopsea also thrives, it seems likely that
the hybrid will eventually be discovered further south.

The plant depicted here has inherited its primary characteristics from the Gymnadenia side of its parentage but this is not necessarily the natural order of things and it seems that the offspring of the seed parent retain more identity than those of the pollen provider.

This photograph dates from early July and comes from a damp roadside bank in Cumbria.