A sweetly scented pink delight, this cylindrical flower spike becomes looser as more flowers open. Each flower has two ‘wings’ or lateral sepals which are held largely horizontal, the upper sepal and petals closed together to form a hood, lower lip is divided into three almost equal lobes. The spur at the base of the flower is long, slender and downward curved.
Basal leaves are unspotted with smaller leaves occurring along the upper stem.
This delicate attractive orchid is very variable in shade from pink to mauve to pure white.
Despite its name this orchid is the least common of the three fragrant orchids found in Ireland. The loose floral arrangement along the stem and the division of the lower lip into three more or less equal lobes help to distinguish it from the two other species of Fragrant orchid found in the Burren.
Leaves and flowers of fragrant orchids are never spotted or marked with stripes or loops
Common fragrant orchid is largely associated with species rich calcareous grasslands and limestone pavement habitats.
Uses and other points of interest:
The generic name Gymnadenia originates from the Greek gymnos ‘naked’ and aden ‘gland’ meaning ‘naked gland’ referring to its particular floral structure
Due to changing land use practices and other damaging activities the fragrant orchid has vanished from over a third of its historical range in Ireland
A sure sign of Summer these attractive clove like scented orchids delight the senses between May and July each year throughout the Burren
Least common of all three types of Fragrant orchids found in Ireland