Plants are essential to everyone's lives. Welcome to Plantlife.

Common spotted-orchid

(Dactylorhiza fuchsii )

Common spotted-orchid © Beth Newan/Plantlife

Common spotted-orchid © Beth Newan/Plantlife


The UK's most common orchid (as its name suggests).

The spires of the common-spotted orchid enliven many wild places, particularly chalk and limestone downs. The flowers themselves can vary from deep to light pink. The leaves are marked with dark spots.

It can sometimes be confused with its cousin, the heath spotted-orchid. The latter, however, is more of a pale purple colour and the spots on the leaves are round.

The common spotted-orchid is the County Flower of West Lothian/Linlithgowshire. Find out what your County Flower is by clicking here.


Apart from the Scottish Highlands, the common spotted-orchid is found throughout the UK


Damp grassland and open woods.

Best time to see

When in flower, from June to July.

More meadow orchids: