Near white Gymnadenia densiflora in Hyvinkää city.Gymnadenia conopsea, kirkiruoho

G. conopsea looks little like Dactylorhiza maculata, but they are easy to tell apart. Flowers of Gymnadenia are red or white without any significant marks on the lip, unlike in Dactylorhizas. The leaves are unspotted and usually very thin (look at the last photo). Inflorescense is guite handsome. Plants from northern Finland, from Lapland, are guite small planta, about 10-20 cm heigh. 

Gymnadenia has become increasingly rare in southern Finland. It was once one of the most common Finnish orchids, and even only few decates to past they were commonly seen. Now they are very rare plants, althought some specimens still grow even near to Helsinki, at least in these places: Helsinki, Espoo, Nurmijärvi, Hyvinkää and few places in Lohja. Occuring in Finland.The species has suffered a lot sence the old ways of agriculture has ended, it has been major loss that grazing in woods has stopped - this has caused lot of damage to our orchid-flora. This species has grown mainly in grazed woods. The usual Gymnadenia conopsea var. conopsea is now only common in some areas i eastern Finland and in Ahvenanmaa. 

Gymnadenias from Lapland, at least some of which belong to G. conopsea var. lapponica, are atill common. Man  wlaking in Lapland can, with extreme luck, find beautyful fens coloured by Gymnadenias into red. This is almost for sure the most common orchid in Lapland. I still must admit that I have never been in Lapland myself. 

The third variation of Gymnadenia, which I know myself (I have heard that there are six different variations in Finland, I am not sure of that), is G. c. var. densiflora, orchid mainly found from marshes in Middle Europe. In Finland there grows few plants looking like this variation on a dry hill in Hyvinkää. The plants there have broad leaves and impressive inflorescenses, both of which are typical characters of var. densiflora. These plants have white or pale pink (or pale blue, as in our photo, look at the first one) flowers. According to new DNA-studyings this is placed to its own species as G. densflora

All Gymnadenias are protected south from Oulu, including Ahveanmaa. 

Guite pale plant from Espoo city. Plant with buds in Öland, Sweden

(last page) 

 These pages has been made and updated by Matti Niissalo,