Neotinea tridentata (Scop.) R.M.Bateman, Pridgeon & M.W.Chase, Lindleyana 12: 122 (1997).
Orchis tridentata Scop., Fl. Carniol., ed. 2, 2: 190 (1771).
Orchis tephrosanthos Vill., Prosp. Hist. Pl. Dauphiné: 16 (1779).
Odontorchis tridentata (Scop.) D.Tyteca & E.Klein, J. Eur. Orch. 40: 544 (2008).
This orchid is similar to both Neotinea lactea and Neotinea conica with which it can easily be confused. Neotinea tridentata, formerly known as Orchis tridentata, is a small but robust-looking plant which grows to around 25cm tall. It has 3-8 near-erect basal leaves with a further few (around 3) smaller leaves clasping the upper part of the stem. The inflorescence is dense and the number of flowers is variable from very few to around 30. The upper sepals and petals are white and have green veining. They form a hood above the lip of the flower. The lip is pale and covered with small red dots. It is deeply lobed and the edges are ragged or 'toothed'.
This orchid likes full sun or mid-shade conditions and will grow in open grassland, phrygana (garrigue) and open woodland or even in quite dense thickets.
It flowers from March until the end of April.
C. & S. Europe to Caucasus and Jordan
Pierre Delforge (2005) Orchids of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East; A&C Black
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