Identifying Dactylorhiza Species in Europe and North America

Recently I decided that it might be fun to write a living document detailing the distinctions between taxa in the genus Dactylorhiza, which will be updated as I learn more about the genus. Feel free to comment on this post or on the document if you see any errors, know additional criteria, have any suggestions, etc.

It should be noted that I am not an expert on this genus, and still have a great deal to learn about its taxonomy. For convenience, the names I use in this document are based on iNaturalist's taxonomy, and will be updated accordingly. Additionally, it should be understood that a great deal of controversy surrounds Dactylorhiza, and that one must always be careful to understand which taxonomy they (or others) are working with. Aside from having an abundance of natural hybrids, Dactylorhiza is also rich with synonyms.

For the time being, this document is not comprehensive. New taxa, such as infraspecific taxa and hybrids, will be added in time.

So, without further ado, here's the document.

As a note, I have not forgotten about making an identification page for P. huronensis and P. aquilonis. As a matter of fact, I have drawings completed for both species. If all goes well, that should be posted soon as well.


Posted on 22 June, 2020 01:49 by arethusa arethusa


@catullus, @mercantour, @wolfgangb, @mperille, @afid—this may be of interest to you all.

Posted by arethusa almost 4 years ago

Very nice! I will have to try diving back into Dactylorhiza again at some point soon.

Posted by afid almost 4 years ago

Wow, thanks for posting! I'll definitely be referring to this doc as I try to identify Dactylorhizas. :)

Posted by catullus almost 4 years ago

Waouuh ! What a work ! Thanks for sharing !

Posted by mercantour almost 4 years ago

I shall use this document to try to id my weird weird dactylorhiza...

Posted by milo_hr over 2 years ago

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