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Anacamptis laxiflora (Jersey orchid)

A terrestrial orchid native to western and southern Europe, Jersey orchid has a loose spike of red-purple to violet flowers.
Anacamptis laxiflora (Jersey orchid) flowers

Anacamptis laxiflora (Jersey orchid)

Species information

Scientific name: 

Anacamptis laxiflora (Lam.) R.M.Bateman, Pridgeon & M.W.Chase

Common name: 

Jersey orchid, lax-flowered orchid, loose-flowered orchid

Conservation status: 

Not considered to be threatened, although populations have declined throughout its range.

Habitat: 

Damp calcareous grassland or grassy woodland, in full sun.

Key Uses: 

Ornamental.

Known hazards: 

None known.

Taxonomy

Subclass: 
Superorder: 
Lilianae
Order: 
Asparagales
Family: 
Orchidaceae
Genus: Anacamptis

About this species

The specific epithet laxiflora refers to the loose way in which the flowers of Jersey orchid are arranged. The large, red-purple to violet flowers face in all directions and can be seen from March in southern Europe, to late May in the UK. In France, Jersey orchids are commonly known as des pentecôtes – a reference to Pentecost or Whitsuntide, which is roughly when these orchids flower.

Like many terrestrial orchids, Anacamptis laxiflora is associated with a symbiotic fungus throughout its whole life. The orchid’s tiny seeds have no food reserves and rely on their fungal partner for sufficient nutrition to germinate.

Synonym: 

Orchis laxiflora Lam.

Genus: 
Anacamptis

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