Phylum: Magnoliophyta - Class: Liliopsida - Order: Orchidales - Family: Orchidaceae
Another orchid that is difficult to identify. It is recorded in Ireland and is sometimes referred to as Dactylorhiza occidentalis.
This is another robust-looking marsh-orchid, and there is much argument about its range due to confusion with other orchids including the Early Marsh-orchid. The flowers have broader and flatter lips that often have three rather pronounced lobes, whereas the lips of the Early Marsh-orchid are folded back on themselves.
This orchid is endemic to Ireland, where the extent of its distribution is much disputed.
The Irish Marsh-orchid favours neutral or slightly alkaline soils and is found on the edges of loughs, in dune slacks and in damp hollows in short-sward grassland.
The Irish Marsh Orchid flowers in May and June.
The specimen above was photographed in the Burren on the shore of Lough Bunny in mid-June.
The Plant List
Sue Parker (2009) Wild Orchids in The Burren; First Nature
Anne and Simon Harrap (2005) Orchids of Britain and Ireland; A&C Black
Pierre Delforge (2005) Orchids of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East; A&C Black