This section is from the book "British Wild Flowers - In Their Natural Haunts Vol5-6", by A. R. Horwood. Also available from Amazon: A British Wild Flowers In Their Natural Haunts.
The habitat of this plant is turfy places, dry calcareous and gravelly places, dry pastures. The plant has the orchid habit, and is erect. The stem is slender, downy above. The 2-3 tubers are few, oblong, thick. The radical leaves are in lateral rosettes, egg-shaped to oblong, acute, appearing after the flowers. The stem-leaves are bract-like. The flowers are in a slender, dense, spirally-twisted spike (hence Spiranthes), fragrant, greenish-white, in one row. The scape is sheathed by the bracts, which are abrupt and cucullate. The column and lid are acute, with a blunt, membranous process between. The lip is channelled below, the tip scalloped, projecting. The plant is 4-6 in. high, flowering in August and September, and is a herbaceous perennial.
The habitat of this plant is calcareous hills, pastures, and downs. The habit is the orchid habit. The tubers are egg-shaped. The leaves are oblong, narrow, lance-shaped, acute, not spotted. The bracts are long. The flowers are small, whitish-purple, purple above, whitish below, manv, in a dense spike. The lip is white, with raised, purple spots, 3-lobed, the middle one divided into two nearly to the base, nearly equalling the lateral, linear to oblong, with no point in the notch of the lower segment. The sepals form a hood including the petals, which are linear to lance-shaped, blunt. The helmet is dark-purple. The contrast between the colour of the flower, dark above and white below, has suggested the name Burnt Orchid (hence, too, ustulata). The spur is bent down, blunt, as long- as the ovary. The plant is 4-9 in. high, and flowers from May till July, being a herbaceous perennial.
The habitat of this plant is chalky, bushy hills, woods, downs, and copses on chalk soils. The habit is the orchid habit. The plant is stout, with egg-shaped tubers. The leaves are oblong, blunt, egg-shaped. The flowers are in a large, dense, many-flowered spike. The sepals and petals are barely acute, green and purple, blunt. The lip is 3-lobed, the lateral lobes narrow, enlarged, toothed, the middle inversely heart-shaped, scalloped, pale-rose with purple spots, the lower segment with a point in the notch, and the lobes are broad, flat. The egg-shaped helmet of the flower is reddish-brown, formed by the sepals which include the petals. The spur is half as long as the ovary. The bracts are small. The plant is 1-2 ft. high, flowering in May and June, and is a herbaceous perennial.
The habitat of this plant is calcareous pastures, rarely on sandy hills. The plant has the orchid habit, and a slender stem, with entire, round tubers. The leaves are linear, lance-shaped, acute, with a long, narrow point, chiefly radical. The bracts are as long as the ovary, coloured, 1- to 3-nerved. The flowers are in a dense, pyramidal spike, then oblong, rosy or white. The lobes of the lip are equal, entire, oblong, blunt, and the lip is broader than long, with 2 tubercles below. The lateral sepals are spreading, egg-shaped to lance-shaped, acute, 3-veined. The pollen-glands are united. The spur is threadlike, longer than the ovary. The plant is 1-1 1/2 ft. high, flowering in July, and is a herbaceous perennial.
The habitat of this plant is chalky downs. The flowers are purple, the petals downy, sub-triangular to egg-shaped, the lip longer than the sepals, which are pink inside. The lip is swollen, entire or 4-lobed, with an intermediate heart-shaped, flat, green appendage in the notch. The lip is velvety, dark-purple with yellow markings. The anthers have a straight or hooked point. The pollen is stiff and does not fall on the stigma. The plant is 4-9 in. high, flowering in May and June, and is a herbaceous perennial.
The habitat of this plant is hilly and mountain pastures. The plant has the orchid habit. The tubers are clustered. The leaves are numerous, small, oblong, blunt - the upper lance-shaped, acute. The bracts are 3-veined, green, as long as the ovary. The flowers are white, in a narrow, cylindrical, dense spike, nearly arranged all one side, sweet-scented. The sepals and lateral petals form a helmet, and the former are blunt like the petals. The lip is acutely 3-lobed, small, projecting, the lobes unequal, entire, the middle longest and broadest. The spur is shorter than the ovary.
The plant is 6-12 in. high, flowering in June and July, and is a herbaceous perennial.
The habitat of this plant is hilly meadows, grassy places, and pastures. The plant has the orchid habit, with palmate tubers. The leaves are numerous, narrow to oblong, blunt, smaller upwards. The bracts are shorter than the flowers, green. The flowers are green, with a paler brown lip, the petals and sepals striped with dark-red, the lip linear-oblong, greenish-brown, divided into two nearly to the base, with 3 tubercles at the base. The sepals form a hemispherical hood. The spurs are short. The anther-cells are spreading. There is no rostellum. The stigma is oblong, notched above. The glands of the pollinia are connected by a raised, transverse line. The plant is 4-12 in. high, flowering from June to September, and is a herbaceous perennial.