A tuberous perennial herb growing on damp or wet calcareous soils, in meadows, marshes, ditches, fens, flushes and dune-slacks, and also on more acidic soils in bogs and damp heaths. 0-610 m (Atholl, E. Perth, and Caenlochan, Angus).
D. incarnata was mapped as `all records` in the 1962 Atlas. It has declined due to drainage and agricultural improvement, and is often the first Dactylorhiza to be lost when a habitat begins to dry out. Six subspecies are recognised; all are mapped separately except subsp. gemmana, which is of uncertain status and has been neglected by recorders.
Eurosiberian Boreo-temperate element.
Light (Ellenberg): 8
Moisture (Ellenberg): 9
Reaction (Ellenberg): 6
Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 2
Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0
January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.6
July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.4
Annual Precipitation (mm): 1127
Height (cm): 45
Perennation - primary
Life Form - primary
Clonality - primary
Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 1189
Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 331
Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 3
Atlas Change Index: -0.33
Weighted Changed Factor: -31
Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)
Atlas text references
1993. Wild orchids of Scotland.
1985. A reappraisal of the British and Irish dactylorchids, 2. The diploid marsh-orchids. Watsonia. 15:321-355.
1986. Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
1991. Wild orchids of Dorset.
1991. The orchids of Suffolk.
1996. Flora of Great Britain and Ireland, 5. Butomaceae-Orchidaceae.