(pronounced: dak-till-oh-RYE-zah)


Orchideae subtribe Orchidinae

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Terrestrials arising from tubers, the tubers variously divided into multiple segments of varying shapes. Leaves erect, ovate-lanceolate, subrosulate. Inflorescences pedunculate densely-flowered spicate racemes, the floral bracts green, usually longer than the ovaries and often overtopping the flowers. Flowers most commonly pink with patterned lips. Sepals and petals free, subsimilar, subequal, the lateral sepals often reflexed and erect. Lip obscurely to distinctly three-lobed, spurred, usually shallowly convex. Column erect, with a basal stigma; the pollinia 2, granular, on separate slender caudicles and minute viscidia.


From the Greek dactylos, meaning finger, and rhize, meaning root, referring to the finger-like divisions of the rootstock.


A genus of about 75 species from Europe and temperate Asia as far east as the Himalayas. The genus was previously included in a broadly defined Orchis as Orchis subgenus Dactylorchis Klinge. Species-level taxonomy varies widely between authors with the mo

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Adcock, E. M., E. Gorton, and G. P. Morries. 1983. A study of some Dactylorhiza populations in Greater Manchester. Watsonia 14:377-389.

Alleizette, C. 1966. Etude sur les variations des orchidees du groupe Dactylorchis des prairies du sud-ouest de la France. Bull. Soc. Bot. France 113:344-350.

Allen, D. E. 1971. Dactylorhiza fuchsii subsp. okellyi (Druce) Soó behavior and characters in the Isle of Man. Watsonia 8:401`-402.

Andersson, E. 1994. On the identity of orchid populations, a morphometric study of the Dactylorhiza traunsteineri complex in eastern Sweden. Nordic J. Bot. 14:260-275.

Averyanov, L. V. 1977. On the intraspecific polymorphism of the Dactylorhiza maculata (L.) Soó. Vestn. Leningrad Univ., Biol. 2:127.

Averyanov, L. V. 1979. On the infraspecific structure of the taxon Dactylorhiza maculata (L.) Soó, s.l., (Orchidaceae). Bot. Zhurn. 64:572-582.

Averyanov, L. V. 1982. Dactylorhiza maculata, s.l., (Orchidaceae) in the USSR. Bot. Zhurn. 67:303-312.

Averyanov, L. V. 1983. New species of the genus Dactylorhiza (Orchidaceae) from Central Asia and Caucasus. Bot. Zhurn. 68:534-539.

Averyanov, L. V. 1983. The genus Dactylorhiza (Orchidaceae) in the USSR. Bot. Zhurn. 68:889-895, 1160-1167.

Averyanov, L. V. 1984. Taxonomic and nomenclature variations in the genus Dactylorhiza (Orchidaceae). Bot. Zhurn. 69:875-876.

Averyanov, L. V. 1986. Taxonomic and nomenclature variations in the genus Dactylorhiza (Orchidaceae). Bot. Zhurn. 71:92-93.

Averyanov, L. V. 1990. A review of the genus Dactylorhiza. In: J. Arditti (ed.), Orchid Biology, Reviews and Perspectives, V:159-206.

Averyanov, L. V., E. L. Averyanova and A. N. Lavrenko 1980. Karyosystematic characterization of the genus Dactylorhiza (Orchidaceae) in the Middle Tyman. Bot. Zhurn. 65:983-989.

Bateman, R. M. and I. Denholm 1983. A reappraisal of the British and Irish dactylorchids, 1. The tetraploid marsh orchids. Watsonia 14:347-376.

Bateman, R. M. and I. Denholm 1983. Dactylorhiza incarnata (L.) Soó subsp. ochroleuca (Boll) P. F. Hunt et Summerhayes. Watsonia 14:410-411.

Baumann, H. 1983. Die balkanisch -- orientalischen Dactylorhiza -- Arten -- ein Vergleich. Mitt. Bl. Arbeitskr. Heim. Orch. Baden-Württ. 5:43-108.

Baumann, H. and S. Künkele 1981. Bdeiträge zur Taxonomic orientalischer Dactylorhiza Arten. Mitt. Bl. Arbeitskr. Heim. Orch. Baden-Württ. 5:43-108.

Baumann, H. and S. Künkele 1981. Beiträge zur Nomenklatur und Verbreitung der mediterranean Dactylorhiza -- Arten der Section Sambucinae. Mitt. Bl. Arbeitskr. Heim. Orch. Baden-Württ. 13:455-478.

Beyrle, H. F. Penningsfeld and B. Hock 1991. The role of nitrogen concentration in determining the outcome of the interaction between Dactylorhiza incarnata (L.) Soó and Rhizoctonia sp. New Phytol. 117:665-672.

Crackles, F. E. 1986. Dactylorhiza majalis (Reichb.) P. F. Hunt & Summerhayes subsp. cambrensis (R. H. Roberts) R. H. Roberts in S. E. Yorkshire. Watsonia 16:78-80.

Downie, D. G. 1959. The mycorrhiza of Orchis purpurella. Trans. Bot. Soc. Edinb. 38:16-29.

Geniez, P., F. Melki, T. Pain and R. Soca 1995. Une nouvelle Orchideé du sud de la France: Dactylorhiza occitanica sp. nov. L’Orchidoph. 115:18-27.

Gupta, R. 1966. Orchis latifolia Linn., a little known economic plant of Northwest Himalayas. Indian Forest. 92:701-703.

Hedren, M. 1996. Genetic differentiation, polyploidization and hybridization in northern European Dactylorhiza (Orchidaceae): evidence from allozyme markers. Plant Syst. Evol. 201:31-55.

Heslop-Harrison, J. 1949. Field studies in Orchis L., 1. The structure of dactylorchid population on certain islands in the Inner and Outer Hebrides. Trans. Bot. Soc. Edinb. 35:26-66.

Heslop-Harrison, J. 1950. Orchis cruenta Müll. in the British Islands. Watsonia 1:366-375.

Heslop-Harrison, J. 1951. A comparison of the same Swedish and British form of Orchis maculata L., s. l. Svensk Bot. Tidskr. 45:608-635.

Heslop-Harrison, J. 1953. Studies in Orchis L., 2. Orchis traunsteineri Saut. in the British Isles. Watsonia 2:371-391.

Heslop-Harrison, J. 1954. A synopsis of the dactylorchids of the British Isles. Ber. Geobot. Forschunsinst. 1954:53-82.

Heslop-Harrison, J. 1956. Some observations on Dactylorchis incarnata (L.) Verm. in the British Isles. Proc. Linn. Soc. London 166:51-82.

Heslop-Harrison, J. 1957. On the hybridization of the common spotted orchid Dactylorchis fuchsii (Druce) Vermln., with the marsh orchids D. praetermissa (Druce) Vermln., and D. purpurella (T. and T. A. Steph.) Vermln. Proc. Linn. Soc., London, 167:176-185.

Heslop-Harrison, J. 1959. Appomicitic potentialities in Dactylorchids. Proc. Linn. Soc., London, 170:174-178.

Hunt, P. F. and V. S. Summerhayes 1965. Dactylorhiza Nevski, the correct genera name of the dactylorchids. Watsonia 6:128-133.

Hunt, P. F. and V. S. Summerhayes 1967. The genus Dactylorhiza in Britain. Proc. Bot. Soc. Brit. Isl. 6:372-375.

Lagutova, O. I. and V. V. Nazarov 1993. Pollination ecology of Dactylorhiza romana Soo. Ukr. Bot. Zhurn. 50:107-110.

Lord, R. M. and A. G. Richards 1977. A hybrid swarm between the diploid Dactylorhiza fuchsii (Druce) Soó and the tetraploid D. purpurella (T. et T. A. Steph.) Soó in Durham. Watsonia 11:205-210.

McKendrick, S. L. 1995. The effects of herbivory and vegetation on laboratory-raised Dactylorhiza praetermissa (Orchidaceae) planted into grassland in southern England. Biological Conservation 73:215-220.

Nelson, E. 1976. Monographie und Iconographie der Orchidaceen, Gattung Dactylorhiza. Claraz-Schenkung, Zürich.

Nelson, E. 1979. Nachtrag zu E. Nelson Monographie und Iconographie der Orchidaceengattung Dactylorhiza. Taxon 28:592-593.

Nilsson, L. A. 1980. The pollination ecology of Dactylorhiza sambucina (Orchidaceae). Bot. Notiser 133:367-385.

Norderhaug, A., B. Bakkervik and A. Skogen 1997. Dactylorhiza sambucina, a threatened species in Norway? Blyttia 55:73-86.

Pedersen, H. A. 2000. (1457) Proposal to reject the name Orchis latifolia L. (Orchidaceae). Taxon 49(2):299-301.

Pedersen, H. A. 2000. On the status and synonymy of the names Dactylorhiza majalis and D. incarnata (Orchidaceae) and their typification. Taxon 49(3):539-544.

Rasmussen, H. N. 1990. Cell differentiation and mycorrhizal infection in Dactylorhiza majalis (Rchb.f.) Hunt & Summerh. (Orchidaceae) during germination in vitro. New Phytol. 116:137-147.

Rossi, W., P. Arduino, R. Cianchi, N. Piemontese and L. Bullini 1995. Genetic divergence between Dactylorhiza romana and D. saccifera (Orchidaceae), with description of their natural hybrid. Webbia 50:1-15.

Scharfenburg, K. 1977. Beiträge zur Kenntnis der Sippenstruktur der Gattung Dactylorhiza Necker ex Nevski in den Bezirken Cottbus, Potsdam, Frankfurt (Oder) und Neubrandenburg. Gleditschia 5:65-127.

Schick, B. 1988. Zur anatomie und Biotechnik des Bestaubungsapparates der Orchideen, 1. Dactylorhiza majalis (Rchb.) Hunt et Summerh., Disa uniflora Bergius und Oncidium hastatum Lindl. Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 110:215-262.

Schrenk, W. J. 1980. The sub-alpine populations of Dactylorhiza Necker ex Nevski: puzzle in red. Amer. Orchid Soc. Bull. 49:1241-1251.

Selga, M. 1963. Morfologiski un sistematiski petijumi par Latvijas par Dactylorchis sugam. Uczen. Zap. Latviisk. Univ. Biol. 49:77-106.

Senghas, K. 1968. Taxonomische Ubersicht der Gattung Dactylorhiza Necker ex Nevski. Jahresb. Naturw. Ver. Wuppertal 21-22:32-67.

Senghas, K. 1968. Bestimmungsschlussel der mitteleuropaischen Dactylorchis-Sippen. Jahresb. Naturw. Ver. Wuppertal 21-22:123-126.

Senghas, K. and H. Sundermann 1968. Probleme der Orchideengattung Dactylorhiza. Jahresb. Naturw. Ver. Wuppertal 21-22:127-138.

Simola, L. K. 1982. Electron microscope observations of the differentiation of protocorm cells of Dactylorhiza maculata. Nord. J. Bot. 2:125-130.

Soó, R. 1933. Sur les Dactylorchidees de l’Afrique septentrionale. Bull. Soc. Hist. Nat. Afr. Nord. 24:167-175.

Soó, R. Synopsis generis Dactylorhiza (Dactylorchis). Ann. Univ. Sci. Budapest. Biol. 3:335-357.

Soó, R. 1962. Nomina nova generis Dactylorhiza. Typogr. Ann. Univ. Sci. Budapest., Budapest, Hungary.

Stephenson, T. and T. A. Stephenson 1922. Hybrids of Orchis purpurella. J. Bot. 60:33-35.

Stephenson, T. 1928. Les Dactylorchidees en France et en Grande-Bretagne. Bull. Soc. Bot. 75:481-495.

Stephenson, T. 1931. Dactylorchids of North Africa. J. Bot. 69:145-150, 177-180.

Stern, W. T. 1976. The nomenclature of Madeiran Orchids (Orchis maderensis or Dactylorhiza foliosa) and other Orchidaceae of Madeira. Bol. Soc. Brot. 49:89-97.

Tohda, H. 1983. Seed morphology in Orchidaceae, I. Dactylorchis, Orchis, Ponerorchis, Chondradenia and Galeorchis. Sci. Rep. Tohuku Univ. 4, 38:253-268.

Tyteca, D. 1989. Orchidées du Portugal remarques sur les espèces du genre Dactylorhiza. L’Orchidoph. 88:153-160.

Tyteca, D. and J.-L. Gathoye 1987. Apercu biostatistique des Dactylorhiza de Belgique et du nord de la France. L’Orchidoph. 79:1386-1392.

Tyteca, D. and J.-L. Gathoye 1988. Discussion du statut de Dactylorhiza brennensis et description de trois hybrides de cette espece. L’Orchidoph. 81:55-61.

Tyteca, D. 1981. Observations sur quelques Dactylorhiza de Belgique et du nord de la France. Bull. Soc. Roy. Bot. Belg. 114:15-30.

Tyteca, D. and J.-L. Gathoye 1990. Une Orchideé nouvelle de Haute-savoie: Dactylorhiza savogiensis et autres apports taxonomiques. L’Orchidoph. 92:105-112.

Tyteca, D. and J.-L. Gathoye 1991. Une mise au point sur la nomenclature de Dactylorhiza delphinensis et de D. savogiensis. L’Orchidoph. 97:115-117.

Vaucher, C. 1966. Contribution a l’etude cytologique du genere Dactylorchis (Klinge) Vermeulen. Bull. Soc. Neuchatel. Sci. Nat. 89:75-85.

Vermeulen, P. 1968. Dactylorchis maculata und ihre Formen. Jahresb. Naturw. Ver. Wuppertal 21-22:68-76.

Vermeulen, P. 1970. Some critical remarks on the dactylorchids of Portugal. Bol. Soc. Brot., ser. 2, 44:85-98.

Vermeulen, P. 1976. Typification of Orchis elata Poiret. Taxon 25:181-184.

Vermeulen, P. 1976. Was ist Orchis latifolia L.? Acta Bot. Neerl. 25:371-379.

Vermeulen, P. 1977. Orchis latifolia nomen rejicien dum propositum. Taxon 26:600.

Vöth, W. and J. Greilhuber 1980. Zur Karyosystematik von Dactylorhiza maculata s. l. und ihrer Verbreitung, Insbesondere in Neiderösterreich. Linzer Biol. Beitr. 12:415-468.

Wattez, J. R. 1973. L’espéce collective Dactylorchis incarnata (L.) Vermeulen dans le nord de France. Rev. Soc. Sav. Haute Normand. 68:37-53.