(last page)Growing-sites of orchids in Finland and northern Europe

These photos are all taken by Matti Niissalo. 
This is a typical "grovey meadow" (I apologize, I have no idea of the correct word, please inform me!) in Ahvenanmaa, the biggest island in Finland. The ground is covered with Listera ovata´s and there is also Orchis mascula and Cypripedium calceolus nearby. These places, made by man and sheeps and cows cannot survive without care. This is photographed in Ramsholmen´s nature reservation in Jomala. Pastures are very important for many orchids in Finland, and for example Gymnadenia conopsea should perhaps ber started to be grown from seed, if we want to protect it well. It is even more important to keep up traditional ways of agriculture.
This is one the few real orchid-meadows in Finland. The earth is fylled with Listera ovata, few different Platantheras and many species of Dactylorhiza, propably including hybrids. There also grows Neottia nidus-avis right next to this meadow. This place will nead protection and care, otherwice there will be no doupt that this place will soon be under trees. I have also seen many deers in this place, and it could be possible that they would help this pasture to survive longer. Photographed in Ahvenanmaa, mid-Eckerö.
In a Finnish continent, woods with underground springs are important for many species of orchids. In this particular place, one of my fawourite orchid-sites, there grows Listera ovata, L. cordata, Neottia nidus-avis, Dactylorhiza maculata and possibly also Epipogium aphyllum. Corallorhiza trifida is also typical species in damp woods. These woods will do best without any great changes in theyre enviroments. That´s why they should always be protected.
Handsome Picea-woods in Espoo city. This is the most common type of woods in Finland, and they have many orchids: Goodyera repens, Coeloglossum viride, Dactylorhiza maculata, Corallorhiza trifida, Listera cordata, Platanthera bifolia and in northern Finland also Calypso bulbosa and Cypripedium calceolus. Most of these species are (at least in Finland) restricted to these woods, and protecting old forests helps many orchids.
In Lohja there are groves with nut-trees, which are rare elsewhere in Finland. From this particular wood in the famous nature reservation of Karkali one could find Platanthera bifolia, Epipactis helleborine, Neottia nidus-avis, Listera ovata and with great luck also Cephalanthera rubra. These woods are protected in Finland, but in many places they are threatened to get under Piceas, which grow fast and shade the woods too much. By cutting these trees we could help many plants of these woods, including orchids .
This photo shows a beautyful, small bog from southern Finland which is almost totally in natural state. There grows Hammarbya paludosa (which was not found in here for almost 30 years until it was re-discovered. Now it flowers every year with several inflorescenses) and Corallorhiza rtrifida in this acid marsh.
This photo has been taken from Swedish island Öland, from Knisa Mosse. This particular place has Orchis militaris, Gymnadenia conopsea, Dactylorhiza incarnata, Dactylorhiza sphagnicola, Orchis mascula, (Herminiun monorchis?) and Ophrys insectifera. This photo shows us a kind of bog, althought it is much different from Finnish bogs. The front of this photo is a typical alvar (limey, dry meadow). Alvars has many orchid-species and they are the best places in northern Europe to search orchids from. In Finland, there are only few really small alvars.
Our last photo tryes to tell that not all orchids are becoming rare. Dactylorhiza maculata has found ne way for its spreading - this species is now often seen on the wet road-sides. Sometimes there might be thousands of Dactylorhizas in good places. Few other orchids might also be found along roads, suchs as Epipactis palustris and Malaxis monophyllos, but those are rare occasions. Platanthera bifolia can be found from dry places along roads. Also few huge raritues are found there, like Epipactis atrorubens and Orchis militaris.

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