AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Dactylorhiza Neck. ex Nevski, Trudy Bot. Inst. Akad. Nauk S.S.S.R., Ser. 1, Fl. Sist. Vyssh. Rast. 4: 332 (1937), nom. cons.
Synonyms:
Diplorrhiza Ehrh., Beitr. Naturk. 4: 147 (1789).
Dactylorrhiza Neck., Elem. Bot. 3: 402 (1790), opus utique oppr.
Satorkis Thouars, Nouv. Bull. Sci. Soc. Philom. Paris 19: 316 (1809).
Coeloglossum Hartm., Handb. Skand. Fl.: 329 (1820).
Lindblomia Fr., Bot. Not. 1843: 134 (1843.
Dactylorchis (Klinge) Verm., Stud. Dactylorch.: 64 (1947).
× Dactyloglossum P.F.Hunt & Summerh., Watsonia 6: 132 (1965).
Description:
These terrestrial orchids grow in basic soils in wet meadows, bogs, heathland and in areas sparsely populated by trees. They are tuberous geophytes. In a thickened underground stem, they can store a large amount of water to survive arid conditions.The long leaves are lanceolate and, in most species, also speckled. They grow along a rather long stem which reaches a height of 70-90 cm. Leaves higher on the stem are shorter than leaves lower on the stem.The inflorescence, compared to the length of the plant, is rather short. It consists of a compact raceme with 25-50 flowers. These develop from axillary buds. The dominant colors are all shades of pink to red, sprinkled with darker speckles.
Distrubtion:
These orchids are distributed throughout the subarctic and temperate northern hemisphere : in Europe, from Scandinavia to North Africa; also on Madeira, Iceland, West Asia, North Asia, the Himalayas, North America and even in Alaska.
Notes:
The name Dactylorhiza is derived from Greek words δάκτυλος "daktylos" (finger) and ρίζα "rhiza" (root), referring to the palmately two- to five-lobed tubers of this genus. Dactylorhiza were previously classified under Orchis which has two round tubers.
Species:

Dactylorhiza atlantica Kreutz & Vlaciha Morocco.
Dactylorhiza elata (Poir.) Soó W. Medit.
Dactylorhiza elata subsp. elata SW. Spain, NW. Africa
Dactylorhiza foliosa (Rchb.f.) Soó, Madeira
Dactylorhiza insularis (Sommier) Ó.Sánchez & Herrero W. Medit. to WC. Italy.
Dactylorhiza maculata (L.) Soó NW. Africa, Europe to C. Siberia.
Dactylorhiza maculata subsp. battandieri (Raynaud) H.Baumann & Künkele N. Algeria.
Dactylorhiza maculata subsp. maurusia (Emb. & Maire) Soó Morocco (Rif).
Dactylorhiza romana (Sebast.) Soó Medit. to C. Asia.
Dactylorhiza romana subsp. guimaraesii (E.G.Camus) H.A.Pedersen W. Medit.

World Checklist of Monocotyledons. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; http://www.kew.org/wcsp/monocots/ accessed1/20/2010
Bibliography and References:
Baumann B, Baumann H. 2005 Beitrage zur Kenntnis der Orchideenflora Nordwestafrikas. (Contributions to the knowledge of the orchid flora of northwest-Africa.) J. Eur. Orchideen 37. 915-938