The colour of this beautiful Orchid is best described as a rich, deep purple. Growing to about 40cm high, it bears its flowers in flat-topped columns through June and July. As the name suggests, this wildflower is found on wet ground such as machair (low-lying sand-dune pasture), damp meadows and habitat which is not too acidic. Each flower is comprised of a flat lower-lip which is marked with dark lines and blotches. This diamond-shaped lip turns up as the plant matures and sometimes has a small lobe in the centre. Two more petals stand up like rabbit's ears while three more form the little hood over the pollinia (the area in which the reproductive parts of the orchid are located). The lanceolate leaves can vary but those which I found were spotted. This is a native plant, not frequently found, which belongs to the family Orchidaceae.
I found this Orchid growing at Ballyteigue Burrow, Co Wexford in 2009 and the photographs were taken on that occasion.
If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please record your sighting for the 2013 wildflower mapping survey at www.biology.ie