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 copses, pastures, dry chalky places. The habit is erect. The root-knobs or tubers are egg-shaped. The leaves are oblong to lance-shaped, the lower blunt, the upper acute. The bracts are small. The perianth is green. The flowers are greenish-yellow, in a long, dense spike. The sepals are egg-shaped, acute, meeting together, with a purple border, and include the linear, lance-shaped, blunt petals. The lip is 3-lobed, perpendicular, yellow, with red borders, narrow, with 2 lateral and 2 terminal lobes, equal and linear, thread-like, the middle one divided into two nearly to the base, with an intermediate tooth. The plant is 8-16 in. high, flowering in June, and is a herbaceous perennial.
The habitat of this plant is copses, downs, chalky places. The habit is as in the last. The flowers are few, purplish-brown. The petals are green, hairless, short, linear, oblong, the sepals yellow, green inside. The lip is deep, dull brown, hairy, swollen, broad, convex, 4-lobed, with no intermediate appendage in the notch, and has hairless, pale markings resembling a Greek letter in the centre, the edges shortly-lobed, and not (or very slightly) turned down. The middle lobe is large, entire, or notched. The anther is acute, the beak not hooked. The plant is 4-12 in. high, flowering in April and May, and is a herbaceous perennial.
The habitat of this orchid is woods, copses, downs, damp chalky thickets, and pastures. The habit is as in the last. The stem is slender. The leaves are few, linear to oblong. The flowers are distant, bluish-purple. The petals are very narrow, linear, thread-like, reddish-brown. The sepals are yellowish-green. The lip is narrow, oblong, dark purple, 3-lobed, with a broad, nearly square, pale-blue spot in the centre, edged with yellow, the middle lobe long, and divided into two nearly to the base, the lateral lobes turned back. The anther is short and blunt, not beaked. The plant is 6-15 inches high, flowering from May to July. It is a herbaceous perennial.
The habitat of this orchid is wet meadows, woods, heaths. The habit is erect. The stem is tall, and, as the second Latin name denotes, there are only 2 leaves, which are large and oval, blunt. The bracts are small and lance-shaped, as are the upper leaves. The flowers are white, in a slender close spike, small, with an entire linear lip, the petals blunt, meeting together, the spur linear, twice as long as the ovary, the anther cells parallel, and the caudicle short, the gland oblong or oval. The stigma is blunt, with a notch and pointed lobes. The flowers are sweet-scented. The plant is 9-18 in. high. It is in flower from June to August, and is a herbaceous perennial.
The habitat of this orchid is moist woods and thickets. The habit is erect. The plant is tall and stout. The 2 leaves are opposite, large, oval. The flowers are creamy-white, large, arranged in a loose or dense spike. The petals are blunt, uniting. The lateral sepals are broad, spreading. The spur is long, stout, bent down, club-shaped, twice as long as the ovary. The lip is entire, linear. The anther-cells are distant, usually spreading, twice as distant at the base as at the top. The central line between is a prominent ridge in front, a groove behind. The stalk of the pollinia or caudicle is longer, attached by a short drumlike stalk to the rounded gland. The stigma is broad, pointed in the middle. The anther is blunt. The plant is 6-20 in. high, flowering in July and August, and is a herbaceous perennial.
The habitat of this plant is dense northern woods, chalky woods, or limestone woods. The habit is as in other orchid types. The stem is leafy below or above, downy. The leaves are 3-4, large, oblong, egg-shaped, pointed, ribbed. The bracts are leaflike. The flowers are solitary or 2, large, yellowish-brown. The upper sepal is erect, egg-shaped, lance-shaped, pointed, the lateral narrower, united below, under the lip. The lip is entire, long, inversely egg-shaped, pale yellow, with darker, netted veins, with a round, upturned end, not so long as the sepals, depressed, swollen. There are 2 fertile anthers, distinguishing it from other British orchids. The middle lobe of the column is egg-shaped, blunt, bent down. The plant is 12-18 in. high, flowering in May and June, and is a herbaceous perennial.