A tuberous perennial herb of neutral to base-rich soils, occurring in dune-slacks, fens, marshes, wet meadows, flushes, ditches and on roadside verges. It is also frequent in old quarries and urban waste land, where it can colonise drier sites such as rubble, and it occasionally grows in neglected gardens. 0-610 m (Creag Dhuba, Loch Ericht, Westerness).
The overall distribution of D. purpurella is stable in Britain, although there have been local losses due to habitat destruction and drainage. In Ireland, however, it appears to have declined, especially in the south. It is sometimes confused with D. majalis.
Oceanic Boreal-montane element.
PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants. (.zip 1455KB) This dataset was compiled and published in 2004, and last updated in November 2008. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections. A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.
Atlas text references
Wild orchids of Scotland,
, Edinburgh, (1993)
Bateman & Denholm (1983a)
Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols,
, Königstein, (1986)
Flora of Great Britain and Ireland, 5. Butomaceae-Orchidaceae,
, Cambridge, (1996)