Family - ORCHIDACEAE
Genus - Dactylorhiza
Species - incarnata
Common English name - Early marsh orchid
Flowering time - May - July
From the Greek meaning finger-like root, the Dactylorhiza genus was split from the Orchis genus partly due to the lobed tubers. Of the seven species growing in the Picos de Europa (with a propensity to hybridise among some of them), incarnata is one of the largest with showy spikes of up to 50 flowers on each.
The plants can grow to 70 cm. Spurs are cylindrical, short and straight. The lip of the flower, with a small tooth, appears narrower than it really is because it tends to bend backwards. A good distinguishing feature of the flower are the lozenge-shaped rings on the side lobes.
The leaves are a pale green and usually unspotted.