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.
A smaller and more slender plant with very small lanceolate leaves. Whole plant often purplish like the last. Flowers reddish green, fragrant. Lip glabrous at the base. Mature ovary pubescent.
1 E. violacea Boreau of S.E. England is quite a distinct thing. J. W. White in Flora of Bristol (1912), p. 568.
Dry, stony hills and mountain thickets; rare, and especially rare in Switzerland. Widely spread in France. June.
Central and Southern Europe, Corsica, Caucasus, Asia Minor.
Plant glabrous, about 8-12 inches high. Leaves narrow-lanceolate. Bracts shorter than the flowers. Racemes very loose, few-flowered and not unilateral. Flowers large and very beautiful, white variegated with green, orange, and purple. Terminal lobe of lip blunt and rounded.
Marshes and moist meadows, reaching at least 4000 feet in the Alps; sometimes in large quantities. June, July.
Europe, especially Central; Western and Northern Asia. British.
Orchids are generally considered difficult to cultivate, and many have a reputation for not flowering when transplanted. But if they are never moved when in flower or making growth, but in the early autumn, they are much more likely to succeed. A moist loam and peat suits most, but others require lime mixed with the loam instead of peat. All require a deep soil. It is much to be hoped, however, that collectors will leave alone not only many of the British species, but all the rarer ones which grow in the Alps. Those which are parasitic are particularly difficult to cultivate, and are best avoided.