Dactylorhiza brennensis - Brenne Orchid



Scientific Name: Dactylorhiza brennensis. 'Dactylos' is the Greek for finger and 'rhiza' for root, referring to the palmate arrangement of the root structures. 'Brennensis' means coming from the Brenne, where this species was first described, and the only place in the world where it is found.

English Name: Brenne Orchid.

French Name: Orchis de la Brenne (ie Brenne Orchid).




5 Key Characters:
  • only found in the Brenne, Indre (36), France
  • few (4-6) narrow leaves, the second no more than 2cm across
  • plant not very tall (no more than 30cm)
  • the lateral sepals (top right and left of the flower) scarcely wider than the petals (top centre)
  • quite large flowers, bright rose pink (sometimes pale violet)
Lookalikes: All the other Dactylorhiza spp, but especially D. elata, which it was considered to be a sub-species of until 1988.

Habitat: Always around 100masl (metres above sea level). Wet alkaline grassland and swamps.

Flowering Period: End of May to June.

Status: Very threatened by the drying out of wet areas or their recolonisation by forest. Rare, locally important, merits protection. Does not occur within 5km of Preuilly, only occurs in the Brenne and nowhere else in the world.

Recorded by Loire Valley Nature:



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