Alphabetical Plant Listing

Dactylorhiza purpurella (Northern Marsh Orchid)

Northern Marsh Orchid


Dactylorhiza purpurella (Northern Marsh Orchid) is a tuberous terrestrial orchid boasting showy spikes, often with a flattened top, and crowded with deep rich magenta flowers. The petals are decorated with beautiful patterns of magenta-red and the lips are distinctly angular, almost diamond-shaped. Blooming from late spring to early summer, the blossoms are borne atop erect stems above the foliage of lance-shaped green leaves that are usually unmarked or sometimes faintly marked. Native to Great Britain, Ireland and Denmark, Northern Marsh Orchid is found in damp coastal dune slacks. Despite its marshy natural environment, this orchid does well in evenly moist garden soils. It is ideal for a rock or woodland garden, in a wildflower meadow and looks superb when planted among wildflowers or in informal borders.

  • Grows up to 8-12 in. tall and wide (20-30 cm).
  • Performs best in part shade in moist, humus-rich, well-drained soils. Will tolerate full sun if soil is kept moist.
  • A charming addition to beds and borders, rock gardens, cottage gardens or prairies and meadows.
  • No serious pest or disease issues.
  • Deadhead flowers as they fade if required.
  • Propagate by division in early spring.
  • Native to Great Britain, Ireland and Denmark.

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Requirements

Hardiness 6 – 8
Plant Type Orchids, Perennials
Plant Family Dactylorhiza - Marsh Orchids
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early)
Height 8" – 1' (20cm – 30cm)
Spread 8" – 1' (20cm – 30cm)
Spacing 8" – 12" (20cm – 30cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United Kingdom
Garden Uses Beds and Borders
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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PJ photography, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 6 – 8
Plant Type Orchids, Perennials
Plant Family Dactylorhiza - Marsh Orchids
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early)
Height 8" – 1' (20cm – 30cm)
Spread 8" – 1' (20cm – 30cm)
Spacing 8" – 12" (20cm – 30cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United Kingdom
Garden Uses Beds and Borders
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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