Burnt Orchid Orchis ustulata


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Scarce plant, locally common only on chalk downland in S England. The dull green oval unspotted leaves form basal rosette and sheathe flower stem. Flowers, which appear May­June, are borne in compact, somewhat cylindrical spikes; they are maroon in bud, at tip, but whitish when open. The result is a burnt look, reminiscent of intact cigarette ash. In close-up, flowers have maroon hood and red-spotted white lip. Found on chalk grassland