Some spectacular orchids but ‘moor’ observations sought

Whilst not exceptionally rare, the images below illustrate well a trio of relatively common orchids to be found on Thorne Moors and also its near neighbour Hatfield Moors.

There are others to be found, contact us c/o and let us know what you discover.

The delightful Ophrys apifera  which mimics its namesake. Bee Orchids can be white as well as the more usual colouration shown below.

Bee Orchid IMc 3702


Dactylorhizia praetermissa or Southern Marsh Orchid, a species of damp grasslands, marshes and fens.


SMO IMc 3626


Dactylorhiza purpurella or Northern Marsh Orchid another species with similar habitat preferences to D. praetermissa. An extremely variable species even by Dactylorhiza standards and introgression by other members of the genus makes identification difficult and hybrids need close scrutiny and are probably only really determined through analysis of their DNA, not really an option out there in the field.


NMO IMc 3702  (2)


For viewers with a botanical interest and particularly for orchids, an excellent site full of first hand observations can be found here.

So, with better weather tempting more people out onto the moors let us know your interesting orchid observations. Contact us via

Images submitted by Ian McDonald.


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