Dactylorhiza traunsteineri

Narrow Leafed Marsh Orchid

Dactylorhiza traunsteineri is a slender plant with a height of 12 to 45 cm. The two to five leaves are quite narrow and mostly unspotted. The cylindrical and rather loosely arranged inflorescence consists of 8 to 25 rather big flowers. Each on is supported by a narrow and long bract. The spur is dented downwards. Petals and the middle sepal form a hood, the lateral sepals are vertically upright. The broad and rounded labellum is three-lobed. Its loop scheme consists of dots and lines. In many cases it’s not easy to determinate the species, since there are often hybrids with other Dactylorhiza species.

Photo: Bernd Gliwa, 05/07/2006, near Dievogala/Litauen

Taxonomic discussion

The plant was first described by Heinrich Gottlieb Ludwig Reichenbach (1793-1879), 1830 in his Flora germanica excursorica, as Orchis traunsteineri. The name refers to the pharmacist Joseph Traunsteiner (1798-1850) who lived in the Austrian town Kitzbuehel. The species was 1962 included into the genus Dactylorhiza, by the Hungarian botanist Károly Rezsö Soó. The Dactylorhiza monographs by Wolfgang Eccarius, published in 2016, comprises Dactylorhiza traunsteineri together with Dactylorhiza lapponica and Dactylorhiza baumanniana in the section of Angustifoliae.


Photo: Bernd Gliwa, 06/07/2005, near Dievogala/Litauen

White colour of flowers

The flowers of Dactylorhiza traunsteineri are crimson, the variability is low. Recordings of white-flowered plants are quite rare. There is a report of a finding in June 1997 in the Bavarian region of the lake Kochel, published in a paper of Norbert Griebl in Berichte aus den Arbeitskreisen Heimische Orchideen (Jg. 25/2008, Heft 2).

Habitat, bloom and distribution

Dactylorhiza traunsteineri is growing in marshes and wetlands, up to 2150 m. Flowering is from end of May until mid of July. Dactylorhiza traunsteineri is mostly at home in the Alps and distributed in some regions of France, Sweden or the Baltic countries.