Orchis militaris x Orchis anthropophorum - Orchis x spurium
(Hybrid between Military Orchid and Man Orchid)

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

To find a recognisable orchid hybrid in the wild is exciting, but they are notoriously 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 Military Orchid and Man Orchid are relatively common in some parts of Europe, notably in France where the plants on this page were photographed.

Orchis x spurium and Orchis militaris

Above: Left, Military Orchid, three centre plants are the hybrid between the Military Orchid Orchis Militaris and the Man Orchid Orchis anthropophora, and right Military Orchid. Man Orchids were very close by.

Orchis x spurium, closeup picture of the flowers

Above: closeup of the hybrid between Military Orchid and Man Orchid.

Orchis x spurium with its parent species

Above: 1 - Military Orchid. 2 - Hybrid between Military and Man Orchid. 3 - Man Orchid.


The hybrid name spurium means 'false' or 'spurious'.

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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