Orchis militaris

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Military Orchid)
Jump to: navigation, search
Orchis militaris Poir. is a synonym of Orchis italica.
Military orchid
Orchis militaris - Hall käpp.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Orchidoideae
Genus: Orchis
Species: O. militaris
Binomial name
Orchis militaris
L.
Synonyms

Orchis militaris, the military orchid, is a species of orchid native to Europe. It is the type species of the genus Orchis.

Description[edit]

This plant grows to a height of 20 to 50 cm with a robust stem with rather drawn up oblong basal leaves. The inflorescence forms a purplish dense cone consisting of from 10 to 40 flowers. In each flower the sepals and side petals are gathered together to form a pointed "helmet" (whence it gets its name), a lilac colour outside and a veined purple colour inside. The central tongue finishes in two lobes separated by a tooth.

Flowering period[edit]

Depending on location, April to June.

Habitat[edit]

Likes full light on a dry calcareous substrate. For example unfertilized lawns, meadows, edges and light woods up to 2000m in altitude.

Distribution[edit]

It is well distributed around Europe, reaching as far north as southern Sweden, but rather rare in the Mediterranean areas.

It is extremely rare in Britain and a protected species, occurring only at the Rex Graham nature reserve in Suffolk and the Buckinghamshire Chilterns.

Uses[edit]

Orchis militaris contains the nutritious polysaccharide glucomannan, and is one of the original species of orchid whose ground-up roots are used to make the drink salep.

Chemistry[edit]

Orchinol is a phenanthrenoid that can be isolated from infected O. militaris.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Structure of Orchinol, Loroglossol, and Hircinol. Roy M. Letcher and Llewellyn R. M. Nhamo, J. Chem. Soc., Perkin Trans. 1, 1973, pages 1263-1265, doi:10.1039/P19730001263

External links[edit]