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Dactylorhiza sambucina.
Orchis sureau.
Elder flowered orchid.

Some Dactylorhiza will give a hard time as to their identification because each species varies and hybrids are frequent. In some regions, these hybrids would be more numerous than the type species. Observing the Dactylorhiza is the demonstration that once again, certain specialists tend to segment and name  which are sometimes only varieties. Evolution is certainly underway, but this will not happen on the scale of current humanity. Patience! 

I will therefore present only a few species, those whose identification remains certain.

Dactylorhiza sambucina   is a stocky plant that will be found on humid, neutral to slightly acid  substrates. It will also be found rather at altitude, between 500 and 1500 meters. While usually we tend to name each variation, for this species which has the particularity of having yellowish or reddish flowers, the consensus which consists in keeping a single name prevails although we can observe subtle morphological differences between the two varieties. Sometimes a color largely prevails in a station of Orchis elderflower but in principle we will almost systematically find the two together in proportions which may vary. This cohabitation allows rapid identification. Possible confusion with l' Orchis provincialis   for the yellow variety. But the O provincialis is more slender with more spaced flowers. The presence of bracts (floral parts resembling leaves and disseminated in the inflorescence of the Orchis elderberry is also an element of differentiation. These bracts are green when the flower is yellow and purple when it is red. Possible confusion with the ' Orchis mascula for the red variety and it is also the bracts that will allow them to be identified because they are not very visible in O mascula . from the base and D sambucina has leaves without spots and some of which are on the stem.The inflorescence is more compact, compact in D Sambucina and more slender in O mascula.The pigmentation in the center of the labellum is very variable, present or no and does not constitute a reliable criterion.The labellum is sometimes folded up and sometimes spread out and quite wide, so this is an inconclusive element.

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