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Orchis-purpurea_3 | by amadej2008
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Orchis purpurea ssp. purpurea Huds., syn.: Orchis purpureus, Orchis fusca, Orchis maxima

Lady Orchid, DE.: Purpur-Knabenkraut, Purpur-Orchis, Braunrotes-Knabenkraut

Slo.: škrlatnordeča kukavica


Dat.: May 08. 2013

Lat.: 46.86376 Long.: 13.89598

Code: Bot_711/2013_DSC6195


Habitat: wood edge, in road scarp among bushes, southeast oriented slope, calcareous ground, dry, warm and fairly sunny place, exposed to direct rain, average precipitations 1.600-1.800 mm/year, average temperature 11-13 deg C, elevation 120 m (400 feet), submediterranean phytogeographical region.


Substratum: soil.


Place: Vipava valley, south of town Ajdovščina near village Ustje, Vipavsko, Slovenia EC


Comment: Orchis purpurea ssp. purpurea is our tallest and probably most magnificent orchid. Sometimes it can be almost 1 m (3 feet) tall. One of its synonyms Orchis maxima clearly confirms this. Having relatively large individual flowers as well as colossal inflorescence it is really showy. In Slovenia one can find it sparsely scattered usually outside the Alpine region, most frequently in the submediterranean phytogeographical region where the warm influence of the Adriatic Sea is present. It usually grows solitary or in groups of just a few plants. Otherwise, it can be found scattered almost in the whole Europe including some parts of south Alps. Unfortunately, Orchis purpurea ssp. purpurea is in sharp decline in Slovenia, becoming almost a rare plant. It is rare and protected also in Austria, north of us, where it is considered much endangered species. A memorable encounter in any way!


Protected according to 'Uredba o zavarovanih prostoživečih rastlinskih vrstah'

Url. RS, št. 46/2004 (Regulation of protection of wild growing plants, Official Gazette of Republic Slovenia, No.: 46/2004). Enlisted in the Slovene Red List of rare and endangered species, marked by "V" representing a vulnerable species.



(1) Personal communication with Mr. Brane Dolinar,

(2) H. Baumann, S. Kuenkele, R. Lorenz, Orchideen Europas, Ulmer (2006), p 244.

(3) D. Aeschimann, K. Lauber, D.M. Moser, J.P. Theurillat, Flora Alpina, Vol. 2. Haupt (2004), p 1130.

(4) K. Lauber and G. Wagner, Flora Helvetica, 5. Auflage, Haupt (2012), p 1328.

(5) A. Martinči et all., Mala Flora Slovenije, Tehnična Založba Slovenije (2007) (in Slovene), p 781.

(6) M.A. Fischer, W. Adler, K. Oswald, Exkursionsflora Österreich Liechtenstein, Südtirol, LO Landesmuseen, Linz, Austria (2005), p 1048.



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Taken on June 4, 2014