Dense-flowered Orchid (Neotinia maculata) in the Burren, Co Clare

Delighted to say that I have just received the small recorder grant from the NPWS (National Parks &Wildlife Service) to continue my botanical recording work which focuses on the wild orchids of the Burren and the Aran Islands (2024).

I have already been busy recording orchids in the Burren since April this year and I am very happy to say that this year seems to be an excellent year for the Dense-flowered Orchid. This tiny orchid is restricted to  botanically rich limestone grasslands  in the west of Ireland,  it has its stronghold in the Burren, Co Clare.

Flowering since April,  I have found plants in new areas where in previous years , despite searching, I had no success. Up until now there  was only one site known to me where I have recorded its presence continuously over the last three years.

This intriguing orchid is not easy to spot due to its small size and its pale colouring.

It is most common in the warm regions of the Mediterranean however in Ireland its occurrence  alongside  Arctic species like the Mountain Avens is unique.  It is absent from the British flora.