(L.) R.M.Bateman, Pridgeon & M.W.Chase
It is a native of western Eurasia, ranging from Europe to Iran. In the British Isles it is found in central-southern England, Wales and Ireland. It grows in grassy meadows, especially on limestone-rich soil, reaching a height of 40 cm.
It flowers from late April to June in the British Isles, and as early as February in other countries, such as France. The inflorescence is of various colours, mainly purple but ranging from white, through pink, to deep purple. From 5 to 25 helmet-shaped flowers grow in a loose, linear bunch at the top of the single stalk. The name morio is derived from the Greek word "moros" meaning "fool". This refers to the colorful, green striped flowers. A pair of lateral sepals with prominent green, occasionally purple veins extend laterally like "wings", giving the orchid its name. The broad, three lobed, lower petal is pale in the center with dark spots.
The flowers do not produce nectar, but can attract pollinators with their visual appearance. This nectar deception "facilitates the mixing of pollen between different individual plants, promotes genetic diversity in the species, and has been favored evolutionarily over nectar production."
Leaves are lanceolate, or sometimes ovate, and grow in a rosette around the base of the plan, with some thinner leaves clasping the stem and sheathing almost up to the flowers. Leaves are green and unspotted.
It is similar in appearance to the early purple orchid, Orchis mascula, but has green stripes on the two lateral sepals, and lacks the spots or blotches of the Early Purple's leaves.
- Anacamptis morio subsp. caucasica
- Anacamptis morio subsp. champagneuxii
- Anacamptis morio subsp. longicornu (syn: Anacamptis longicornu) — western Mediterranean region.
- Anacamptis morio subsp. morio
- Anacamptis morio subsp. picta
- Anacamptis morio subsp. syriaca
In 2001 Anacamptis morio was adopted as the logo for Priory Vale, the third and final instalment in Swindon's 'Northern Expansion' project. Due to a rapid decline in the species they are protected in certain cases, although still regarded as being quite common in the Swindon area, especially Clifford Meadow, a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) off Thamesdown Drive, Swindon.
- R. M. Bateman; A. M. Pridgeon; M. W. Chase (1997). "Phylogenetics of subtribe Orchidinae (Orchidoideae, Orchidaceae) based on nuclear its sequences. 2. Infrageneric relationships and reclassification to achieve monophyly of Orchis sensu stricto". Lindleyana. 12: 113–141.
- "Anacamptis morio". World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 2014-05-17.
- Britannica Blog: The Deceptive Flowers of Orchids
- "Search for Anacamptis morio". World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 2014-05-17.
- Orchis morio :: Flora of Northern Ireland web site
- Media related to Anacamptis morio at Wikimedia Commons
- Data related to Anacamptis morio at Wikispecies
- Anacamptis morio at the Encyclopedia of Life Images. Habitats,habitus etc. and images of Anacamptis morio subsp. morio Anacamptis morio subsp. longicornu, Anacamptis morio subsp. picta, Anacamptis morio subsp. syriaca
- Den virtuella floran - Distribution
- Swiss Orchid Foundation