“The garden is a strange mix of the inevitable and the unexpected…”
Quite a few years ago I bought a D. alpestris in the idea to try to grow an orchid (preferably an alpine one), although I didn’t have the right conditions. It flowered weekly one year and then it disappeared under the mass of other plants and from my mind – inevitable.
Last year when digging out the garden, I found a little ‘child-hand’ like tuber (Simpson style) which is unmistakable of a Dactylorhiza; hmmm – unexpected.
Overwintered in an outside container over the past gruesome winter, it showed up timidly in late spring and now is flowering: nice, strong, purple-spotted flowers – another unexpected. Few pictures for remembering, until the next inevitable…
D. alpestris (Pugsley) Verm. 1847, has so many synonyms that I don’t dare to say anything more, and it should have spotted leaves; mine doesn’t but everything else looks fine (3 t o 5 oval to elliptical, sometimes almost orbicular, spotted leaves with the uppermost 1 to 2 being bract-like, that blooms in the late spring and summer on an erect, terminal, 10 – 20 cm long, racemose, cylindrical inflorescence with leaf like bracts and many flowers).
Syn. Dactylorhiza fistulosa subsp. alpestris; Dactylorhiza latifolia subsp. alpestris; Dactylorhiza latifolia var. pinguis, and many more…