Skip to main content
This genus is accepted, and its native range is Europe.

[O-EM]
General Description

Dwarf herb. Rootstock tuberous, tubers two, oblong or ellipsoid, subsessile or shortly stipitate. Stem erect, lacking scale leaves. Leaves all basal, 6-10, linear, terete, unspotted. Inflorescence short, lax to somewhat densely 6-14 flowered; floral bracts herbaceous. Flowers small, resupinate, yellowish green. Sepals and petals connivent, forming a hood, petals slightly shorter. Labellum slightly longer than sepals and petals, ovate to oblong-ovate, shallowly three lobed or entire, with two basal swellings forming a nectariferous recess, spur absent. Column minute; rostellum minute, triangular, margin slightly in curved; pollinia two; viscidia large. Ovary sessile, twisted, glabrous. (JW).

Ecology

Chamorchis alpina grows in mountain pastures and meadows in dry or damp calcareous soils and in full sunlight. In the Alps it occurs at (1500-) 2000-2700 m but is found at much lower elevations in Scandinavia, e.g. in Lapland where it grows in exposed heathland (Davies et al. 1988). Chamorchis flowers from July to August in alpine meadows, where it often grows with edelweiss (Leontopodium alpinum Cass.; Asteraceae) and mountain avens (Dryas octopetala L.; Rosaceae). It can be very difficult to see because of its green flower colour, grass-like basal leaves, and small stature, which may have contributed to its reputation as a rare orchid (Davies et al. 1988). At the local level, it can sometimes be very abundant and grow in large populations of several hundred plants, most probably due to active vegetative propagation of the tubers. (RN).

Distribution

A monospecific genus distributed in northern and alpine Europe, north to Russia, east to the Carpathians. (JW).

Native to:

Austria, Czechoslovakia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, North European Russi, Norway, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland, Yugoslavia

Chamorchis Rich. appears in other Kew resources:

First published in Mém. Mus. Hist. Nat. 4: 49 (1818)

Accepted by

  • Govaerts, R. (1999). World Checklist of Seed Plants 3(1, 2a & 2b): 1-1532. MIM, Deurne.
  • Govaerts, R. (2003). World Checklist of Monocotyledons Database in ACCESS: 1-71827. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Pridgeon, A.M., Cribb, P.J., Chase, M.C. & Rasmussen, F.N. (2001). Orchidoideae (Part 1) Genera Orchidacearum 2: 1-416. Oxford University Press, New York, Oxford.

Kew Backbone Distributions
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
© Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Orchideae: e-monocot.org
All Rights Reserved