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Green-winged Orchid

A declining species of unimproved damp grassland


  • Green-winged orchid: surviving on a wing and a prayer

    Post date: Monday, 19 May, 2014 - 00:00

    Along with the early spider orchid and the early purple orchid there is a third orchid in flower early in the season, the green-winged orchid (Orchis morio). It grows generally on limestone grassland and as a result occurs at Durlston national nature reserve but it also grows in some profusion at Corfe Mullen Meadows, a Dorset Wildlife Trust reserve and that is a damp pasture and certainly not limestone! 

    This is very much a flower of undisturbed meadows and grassland. It likes to be left in peace and once the ground is ploughed the flower is as good as gone forever. This is why it is now very local and found only in long established grassland areas. Where it does occur, however, there can be lots of them.

    Usually 'stumpier' than the taller, more elegant but similar early purple orchid, and lacking the purple blotches on the leaves, the green-winged orchid is, I believe, named after the distinctive way the leaves come out from the base like a pair of wings.


Common Name Green-winged Orchid
Scientific Name Orchis morio
Species Group Orchid Family Orchidaceae
Interest Level
Look for
Identification Notes
Primary Habitat
Family Orchid family - Orchidaceae
Status Rare
Flower Colour Group Pink
  • 05 - May
  • 06 - June
Preferred Environment
Look for Small orchid with green leaves alternate on the stem like wings
Additional Identification Notes
Similar Species

The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail:

Notebook Distribution Map Sites List Some Charts Some Photographs Recent Records Guidance Notes

To see related species click here: 

Orchid Family Orchidaceae