Albiflora forms on Alpine meadows

A highlight of the field trip to the Alpine region of Eastern Tyrol is a plant which on first sight appears as a stronger Pseudorchis albida. There are many of this species on the mountain meadows of the Golzentipp summit (2317 m) north of Obertilliach in the valley of Gail. Even more numerous is only Gymnadenia conopsea. But quite rare is the hybrid between both species. Studying the single flower it can be seen that this plant is such a Gymnadenia conopsea x Pseudorchis albida which has also been described as xPseudadenia schweinfurthii.

Size, lip form and length of spur are in the middle between Pseudorchis and Gymnadenia. But the color of the flower shows almost no influence of Gymnadenia conopsea flowering in purple violet. Only in the sepals there is a very faint hue of violet. Other findings of this hybrid, among them also some of the Golzentipp slopes, show flowers with a distinctive bright rose color. Thus, it may be assumed that this plant is a hybrid between an albiflora form of Gymnadenia conopsea and Pseudorchis. But it could also be possible that there is a mutation of a hybrid resulting in a lack of pigment development in the flowers.

Albiflora forms of Gymnadenia conopsea are quite common – on the Golzentipp meadows as well as above the Kircher Almen near Untertilliach at a similar height.

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