Orchis militaris, soikkokämmekkä

This is one of the most handsome of Finnish orchids, too bad that it is so rare. 
Fat Orchises in Knisa Mosse, Íland, Sweden.The plant has many large, broad leaves. The plant has big and handsome inflorescense, usually less than 40 cm in heigh in Finland The floOccuring in Finland.wers are far from the stem, and therefore the inflorscense look seven more handsome. The flowers are large. They have "legs" and "hands" and large "helmets". They look like small soldiers. Flowers are blueish purple. 

The species is extremely rare in Finland. It was found in our country in 80´s, propably prought here with limestone brought from Gotland. As far as I know, it has grown in 7 places in Finland, some of where it has died from. I beliewe it still grows in Parainen, and has even started to spread in Tvärminne in Hanko.This is also photographed in Íland, this time in Stora Avlvaret. It has not done that anywhere else in Finland. The plant has died at least from Lohja and Lappeenranta. 

The species spreads well with seed. 

Orchis militaris is protected in Finland. All of the photos are taken in Öland, Sweden. 

The orchid flowers in June. 
 Group of plants in Stora Alvaret, Íland, Sweden. 

Good-looking, pale pink specimens from Íland, near Knisa Mosse. 

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 These pages has been made and updated by Matti Niissalo, sophronitis@yahoo.com