Orchis militaris

Orchids were always something I considered foreign and exotic, flowers that need a damp and warm rainforest – they certainly wouldn’t grow in our cold climate in Germany and Austria, would they? But walking around with the camera made me more aware of my surroundings as a whole, and all things large and small – perhaps simply out of a feeling of being “on the hunt” for pictures. :-) And among many other things, I began to notice that we do have orchids! Orchis militaris, the Military Orchid, is among the most common ones.

The German name “Helm-Knabenkraut” refers to the “helmet” formed by the sepals and side petals. The photos below are from two different locations, in Germany and Austria – you can see that the inflorescence is an ear – as the plant begins to bloom it appears cone-shaped, but when all of the individual flowers (up to 50 on a single stalk!) open it is more tube-shaped.

This orchid was first described in 1753 by Carl von Linné (Wikipedia: Carl Linnaeus) by the way – the man who is known as the “father of modern taxonomy” and the way we name organisms.

I identified this orchid with the help of Felix Wesch, a fellow photographer who is passionate about wild orchids. Kudos, Felix, even though it wasn’t a challenge for you at all. :-)

This is an archive blog post published in 2017 and dated back to the time when I originally made the photos.

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