Wild orchids in a peat bog in The Netherlands
Peat bogs usually are fed by rain water and isolated from ground water. At the edge of peat bogs, you sometimes find a special habitat, where the water from the peat bog meets the ground water. I think specialists call this habitat violion caninae grasslands or Nardo-Galion saxatilis. At the local peatbog here, the Aamsveen, this is where some species of orchids can be found. The most common, but still quite rare, is the moorland spotted orchid (Dactylorhiza maculata):
Here's a photo showing the full plant. The "spotted" refers to the leaves, not the flowers:
They don't stand out much before they flower, but the colour sets them off against the background as soon as the first flower shows itself:
Colour and pattern vary a little, compare this to the first photo:
The next orchid was only there for one year, and it was way out of its normal habitat. I suspect it was brought here with the sand they used to shore up a path through the peat bog. It is not very spectacular and easily overlooked, as everything on it is green. It is called eggleaf twayblade (Neottia ovata):
This last species I found is rare, and numbers are dwindling in the peat bog here. It is called lesser butterfly-orchid (Platanthera bifolia):
It is not very spectacular, but in the evening and at night, it smells really great. I never saw more than three of them together, all close to the moorland spotted orchids. Here's another photo:
Those are all the orchids I have been able to find in the local peat bog, but I will be looking for more this summer.
Thanks for watching!
All photos Olympus XZ-1