A tuberous perennial herb restricted in S. Britain to dry, well-grazed, base-rich grassland such as chalk downland and dunes, and in chalk-pits. Elsewhere it grows in a wider range of calcareous grasslands, flushes, limestone pavement, scree, rocky ledges, roadsides and quarries. 0-915 m (Glen Doll, Angus).
C. viride has declined considerably, particularly in C. England and East Anglia. Many losses occurred before 1930, but have continued since then, and are largely due to the ploughing and improvement of pastures. Molecular evidence suggests that this species should be included within Dactylorhiza (Bateman et al., 1997).
Circumpolar Boreal-montane element.
Light (Ellenberg): 7
Moisture (Ellenberg): 4
Reaction (Ellenberg): 6
Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 2
Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0
January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.2
July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.1
Annual Precipitation (mm): 1148
Height (cm): 22
Perennation - primary
Life Form - primary
Clonality - primary
Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 964
Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 214
Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 0
Atlas Change Index: -1.34
Weighted Changed Factor: -28
Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)
Atlas text references
1993. Wild orchids of Scotland.
1986. Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
1965. Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.
1998. Population dynamics and life-history of Coeloglossum viride (L.) Hartm.: an endangered orchid species in The Netherlands. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. 126:83-93.