Orchis militaris x Orchis purpurea - Orchis x hybrida
(Hybrid between Military Orchid and Lady Orchid)

Phylum: Magnoliophyta - Class: Liliopsida - Order: Orchidales - Family: Orchidaceae

To find a recognisable orchid hybrid in the wild is exciting, but they are sometimes difficult to identify accurately because, even in relatively small groups of hybrids with the same two parent species, there can be considerable variation in the shape, size, and most confusing of all, lip pattern and form of the flowers. Hybrids between these two rare species have been reported in the UK but they are far more common in parts of Europe where both Military and Lady Orchids are also more common.

Orchis x hybrida and Orchis militaris

Above: Centre two plants are hybrids between the Military Orchid and the Lady Orchid. To the right is one of the parents, the Military Orchid, and to the left another hybrid between the Military Orchid and the Man Orchid. These plants were photographed in southern France.

Orchis x hybrida, closeup picture of the flowers

Above: closeup of the hybrid between Military Orchid and Lady Orchid

Orchis x hybrida with its parent species

Above: 1 - The Lady Orchid. 2 - A hybrid between Lady Orchid and Military Orchid. 3 - The Military Orchid.


The hybrid name hybrida indicates that this is an inter-specific hybrid.

Reference sources

Anne and Simon Harrap - Orchids of Great Britain and Ireland. A&C Black Publishers Ltd., 2005

If you found this information helpful, we are sure you would also like books on the Wild Orchids of Wales, of The Burren, and of the Algarve. Author-signed copies are available here...

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