- flowers when the cuckoo calls
Usually we associate orchids with the beautiful potted plants that have become so popular in recent years. Therefore, it might be surprising to discover that wild orchids can be found growing in Denmark.
All Danish orchids belonging to the Orchidaceae family. The orchid's Danish name literally means' Cuckoo orchid' and alludes to the fact that it flowers in the spring when the cuckoo calls.
Most Danish orchids are very rare and can only be found in very few, very specific habitats. However, the western marsh-orchid is rather more common and you can often find it in springs, meadows and bogs alongside the watercourse.
Many Danish orchids live where there is calcium in the soil. Therefore, they are most common in Eastern and Northern Jutland and the islands. You will also find orchids at places along the coast of West Jutland, where old deposits of seashells create a calcium-rich soil.
The western marsh-orchid has two tubers, which resemble testicles. Therefore, the root was previously used as a potency-enhancing agent.
Facts about the western marsh-orchid
Height 15-40 cm
Perennial plant. Flowers in May-June.
The flower is purple-red, rarely white. The leaves are cone-shaped and pointed, often with dark spots.
Fairly common throughout the whole country.