Dactylorhiza incarnata (L.) Soň - Early marsh orchid
This species is widely spread in the Eurasian area, in central and northern Europe, while it is in the Mediterranean regions.
It can be 80 cm high, with a strong hollow stem and many typical lanceolate light green streamlined leaves, slightly sagged at the top. The upper leaves are longer than the base of the inflorescence, which is thick, 15 cm long and rich in flowers (up to 50), with strong purple bracts longer than the flowers themselves. The latter are characterized by a single or slightly trilobate labellum and straight or backwards curved side lobes.
This species grows mainly on neutral or slightly basic peaty or mineral wet but sunny sustrata. Therefore, it is present in damp marshy meadows and alkaline fens, from the plain to an altitude of 2,000 metres.
In the Resurgence area, the species is still present in many spots, but it is undergoing a reduction in numbers because of the lack of mowing in private estates and the lowering of the water table, which increased the scrub encroachment. In the project area, the species occurs in biotopes located between the wet, but never flooded, peaty grounds and the clay terraces at a slightly higher altitude. In this way, it is often present in the association of the alkaline fens (Erucastro-Schoenetum) and the Molinia damp meadows (Plantagini-Molinietum).
Iconografia delle Orchidee d'Italia
W. Rossi, A. Eldredge Maury (tavole) - 2002
Ministero dell'Ambiente e della Tutela del Territorio
Ist. Naz. per la Fauna Selvatica "A. Ghigi"