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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 26 | Orchidaceae | Dactylorhiza

2a. Dactylorhiza majalis var. junialis (Vermeulen) Senghas, Jahresber. Naturwiss. Vereins Wuppertal. 21–22: 126. 1968.

Leopard marsh orchid

Orchis latifolia Linnaeus var. junialis Vermeulen, Ned. Kruidk. Arch. 43: 404. 1933; Dactylorhiza praetermissa (Druce) Soó subsp. junialis (Vermeulen) Soó; D. praetermissa var. junialis (Vermeulen) Vermeulen; Orchis pardalina Pugsley

Plants 20–55(–70) cm. Stems 4–10.5 mm diam. Leaves: proximal leaves 4–5, sheathing; distal leaves 2–3, not sheathing, all dark green, heavily marked with purplish spots (some annular) on adaxial surface only, keeled abaxially, margins entire, proximal leaves well spaced along stem, lance-elliptic to oblong, slightly hooded at apex, largest 12–20+ × 1.5–5(–6) cm, distal leaves sessile, narrowly lanceolate, apex acute to acuminate. Inflorescences: floral bracts green to suffused with purple, often spotted, narrowly lanceolate, 6.5–15 × 2–5 mm, extending slightly beyond flowers. Flowers mauve to lavender; sepals and petals lanceolate, 6–10 × 3–4.5 mm, apex obtuse to acute; sepals suberect, prominently oblique at base, dark spotted; distal petals hooded; lip marked with red-violet loops (continuous or discontinuous), dashes, and spots, obcordate, shallowly 3-lobed, 7–11 × 9.5–14 mm, widest at middle; lateral lobes slightly to less often strongly reflexed, with shallow sinus on either side of small toothlike middle lobe 1–3.5 mm, apex obtuse to acute, usually exceeding lateral lobes by ca. 1 mm; spur straight to slightly down-curved, 4.5–7 × 2–4 mm, 1/2–2/3 as long as ovary. 2n = 80.

Flowering late Jun (Ont.)--late Jul (Nfld.). Shores, seepage slopes, bogs; to 200 m; introduced; Nfld. and Labr. (Nfld.), Ont.; Europe (Belgium, s England, n France, Luxembourg, Netherlands).

Dactylorhiza majalis var. junialis occurs on seepage slopes in Ontario and in bogs in Newfoundland.

First discovered in 1959 in the town of Timmins, Ontario, and reported by F. Cowell to H. Andrews (1961), Dactylorhiza majalis var. junialis became known as the Timmins orchid. Originally identified as Orchis purpurella T. Stephenson & T. A. Stephenson, it was later assigned to Dactylorhiza maculata (Linnaeus) Soó (C. A. Luer 1975; P. M. Catling and V. R. Catling 1991), D. fuchsii (P. M. Catling and C. J. Sheviak 1993), and most recently D. majalis subsp. praetermissa var. junialis by R. M. Bateman (in S. J. Meades 1999), who suggested that the Timmins orchid and a population of Dactylorhiza in St. John’s, Newfoundland, may be the same taxon but from a different source (H. J. Clase and S. J. Meades 1996). The St. John’s plants differ from those in Timmins by having larger spurs and less defined lip markings. Although the original lakeshore habitat in Timmins was destroyed, plants transplanted in the local area have become naturalized along the Mattagami River.

Another controversial naturalized Dactylorhiza population occurs at Tilt Cove (Baie Verte Peninsula, Newfoundland), near the site of an abandoned nickel and copper mine. It differs from the previous Dactylorhiza populations by its unspotted leaves; smaller, less marked flowers with short, conic spurs; and wetter, more basic (ultramafic) habitat. According to local accounts, its presence dates to the early 1900s, when mining equipment, packed in hay, was imported from England (S. J. Meades 1999). It remained unknown to the botanical community until found by S. G. Hay, A. Bouchard, and L. Brouillet in 1988. First identified as D. incarnata (S. G. Hay et al. 1990), it is known locally as the Tilt Cove orchid. Recently, R. M. Bateman tentatively identified the taxon as D. majalis subsp. praetermissa (southern marsh-orchid). He noted, however, that while the Tilt Cove plants most closely resemble subsp. praetermissa, they do not match exactly any European Dactylorhiza species. Additional studies are underway to obtain a more confident identification.


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