This is one of those wildflowers which can best be appreciated by a really careful and close examination. A member of a genus within the Orchicadeae family, it is best identified by its dull, green, ovate leaves, the lower leaves being almost as wide as they are long. The boldly-veined leaves are spirally arranged around an erect stem which reaches 80 cm, bearing up to 100 flowers. These flowers are borne in a dense raceme, each one open-mouthed with green-purple sepals surrounding two upper mauve-green petals and a lower lip which is dark-red. This lower lip is heart-shaped and curves below two brownish bosses or bumps. Each plant sends up two or three stems of these slightly downward-curving flowers. They bloom from July to September, growing in shaded woods, scrub and some hedgerows and this is a native plant.
I first recorded and photographed this wildflower on Slieve Carron, Co Clare in 2010.
If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre