Liparis loeselii (L.) L. C. M. Richard - Fen orchid
This small orchid can not be confused with any other European species. It is generally 10-20 cm high and therefore it is difficult to notice except for two oval lanceolate leaves at the base of the stem and for its small yellow greenish flowers with vertical labella at the top.
The species is related to alkaline-neutral substrata, in the alkaline fens and in the retro dune ponds, at an altitude from 0 to 900 m. Like many species of the Orchidaceae family with which it shares its pioneeri behaviour, it tends to disappear as vegetation develops in closer habitats and as the soil dries up.
It is spread in central-southern Europe and Turkey. The species has undergone a drastic reduction in numbers because of the habitat destruction and, locally, because of the water table lowering. The species is therefore included in the Annex II of the Council Directive 92/43/EEC. Like other species of the alkaline fens, it grows epiphytically on moss which develops near the periodically flooded area. It is very rare in Italy with very few specimens. Up to the '90s, in the resurgence area, the species was present in two sites but no specimen of it has been found recently. With the new mowing, after thirty years, the orchid may be admired again, as happened in similar experiences in central Europe.
Iconografia delle Orchidee d'Italia
W. Rossi, A. Eldredge Maury (tavole) - 2002
Ministero dell'Ambiente e della Tutela del Territorio
Ist. Naz. per la FaunaSelvatica "A. Ghigi"