Surely the most exquisite wild orchid in Ireland, Green-winged Orchid is a small, erect plant which grows to about 30cm tall in grassland and meadows where grazing occurs. It bears flowers, well separated, in short spikes and these flowers appear in several colours – from snow-white through pink and magenta to deep purple. The three sepals are purple-veined with strong, green lines and these sepals form a hood over a broad, downward folded lower lip which is three-lobed and heavily spotted at its white centre. There is also a stout, slightly-curved spur. These incredible flowers bloom from mid-April to mid-June. The leaves are shiny green, unspotted with the upper leaves sheathing the stem and the lower leaves forming a rosette.
Previously known as Orchis morio, it also bears the common name of Green-veined Orchid. This is a native perennial which belongs to the Orchid or Orchidaceae family.
I first saw this beauty in County Tipperary in May 2017 with the great help of a couple of friends. I photographed it there at the time.
If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre