This section is from the book "Sub-Alpine Plants Or Flowers Of The Swiss Woods And Meadows", by H. Stuart Thompson. Also available from Amazon: Sub-Alpine Plants: Or, Flowers of the Swiss Woods and Meadows.
Smelling like Elder. Tubers long and undivided, or shorter and 2-3 lobed. Stem leafy, 4-10 inches high. Leaves not spotted, dark green, lower ones wedge-shaped, broader towards apex, the next lanceolate. Spikes long, moderately dense. Flowers pale yellow or more rarely purple (var. purpurea Koch). Bracts many-nerved, about as long as the perianth. Perianth-segments rather obtuse, the two lateral ones spreading, recurved, the 3 upper ones connivent into a helmet. Labellum shallowly 3-lobed or nearly entire, lateral lobes rounded, middle lobe smaller, obtuse or emarginate. Spur cylindrical, directed downwards, as long as or longer than the ovary.
High mountain pastures, often in large quantities. May to July.
Carpathians; Eastern, Central, and Western Alps; Harz Mountains; most of the mountain ranges of Europe.
Tubers entire. Stem often more than a foot high. Leaves lanceolate, rather narrow and pointed. Spike very dense, somewhat obtusely conical, about 2 inches long. Flowers rather small, rich rose, with very slender spur, longer than the ovary. Sepals lanceolate, spreading. Lip broad, 3-lobed, the lobes more or less equal.
Dry banks and hillsides, preferably limestone. June to August.
Not frequent in Switzerland, more so in France. Central and Southern Europe, extending eastward to the Caucasus and northward to Denmark and the British Isles.
Tubers more or less lobed. Stem 3-8 inches high, with a few oval or oblong-lanceolate leaves, and a short spike of yellowish green flowers (often brownish in the mountains) with very short spur and long hanging lip, very shortly lobed at the tip. Bracts usually longer than the ovary.
Pastures and hillsides in the Alps and sub-Alps and Jura.
Europe from Mediterranean to Arctic regions, Siberia. British.
Sepals and petals spreading, lip usually convex, velvety, not spurred. Ovary not twisted; otherwise like Orchis.
Intermediate forms often occur which are difficult to place.
Sepals usually pink inside. Lip dark purple, convex, and velvety, like the body of a bumble-bee. Lateral perianth-segments linear, obtuse. Spike usually 3-6 flowered, very handsome.
Dry, open, grassy places in the hills; less common in Switzerland than 0. arachnites, which grows on hot hillsides. May, June.
Most of Europe, especially Central and Southern; N. Africa. British.
Sepals pink or greenish. Lip usually not lobed, or slightly incised, broad, convex, without an appendage. Petals oblong, almost glabrous. Resembling the last in habit.
Sunny hillsides, not frequent in Switzerland. May.
Central and Southern Europe, Algeria; rare in England.