Orchis mascula

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaOrchidaceaeOrchisOrchis mascula


This tuberous perennial herb grows on a variety of neutral and calcareous soils, and is most frequent in woodland, coppices and calcareous grassland. However, it also occurs in hedgerows, scrub, on roadsides and railway banks and on limestone pavement and moist cliff ledges. 0-880 m (Caenlochan, Angus).



World Distribution

European Temperate element.

© R. Stewart, IWNHAS

Broad Habitats

Light (Ellenberg): 6

Moisture (Ellenberg): 5

Reaction (Ellenberg): 7

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 4

Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.5

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.7

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1073

Height (cm): 40

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary

Non-bulbous geophyte (rhizome, corm or tuber)



Clonality - primary

Little or no vegetative spread

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 1962

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 475

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 9

Atlas Change Index: -0.72

Weighted Changed Factor: -27

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


JNCC Designations


Atlas text references

Atlas (340c)
Allan B, Woods P
1993.  Wild orchids of Scotland.
Hultén E, Fries M
1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Jenkinson MN
1991.  Wild orchids of Dorset.
Meusel H, Jäger E, Weinert E
1965.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.
Sanford M
1991.  The orchids of Suffolk.