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Neotinea ustulata.
Orchis brûlé.
Burnt orchid.

Superb little orchid whose shape of the labellum recalls the purple orchid. But careful observation quickly makes us aware of the differences. The plant measures 10 to 30 cm and bears a variable inflorescence of tiny helmeted flowers (sepals and petals join together to form a helmet above the labellum). The lip is white dotted with small purple dots while the helmet is more or less dark purple. 

This orchid is found in a large part of the territory outside the North of France from May to early July depending on region and altitude (up to 2000 m). It can be abundant or rare depending on the biotope, disappearing quickly if the vegetation is stifling because it prefers short grass meadows. 

There is a species or subspecies which blooms in July in the Alps and is said to be taller with a more developed flower stalk.

Click on the photos to enlarge

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