John and Gerry's    Orchids of Britain and Europe
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Dactylorhiza praetermissa x maculata

Dactylorhiza praetermissa was first described by Druce from Southern England in 1914 and was originally named Orchis praetermissa. Its name obscurely means "neglected" though it is more widely and understandably known as the Southern Marsh Orchid. Dactylorhiza maculata commonly known as the Heath Spotted Orchid, has been recognized considerably longer, having been originally described from Uppsala, Sweden in 1753.

D. praetermissa is basically a plant of the North Sea and English Channel coasts and is probably at its
most frequent in the dune systems of the south of England and Wales, though it is not uncommon in drier habitats on alkaline and sometimes even neutral soils. Its range includes the Low Countries, Denmark, northern and central France as far east as Germany. D. maculata however prefers a significantly different  habitat, being a denizen of the heathlands and acidic bogs of most of northern  Europe, though as with its close relative it can stray onto neutral substrates, hence the opportunity for hybridization between the two species.

It is nonetheless an uncommon hybrid which has been named D. x hallii and which in the UK is virtually but not entirely restricted to the southern half of England. As with  D. maculata, it can be of variable appearance with a range of colouration and markings. The small colony from which the pictures come, contained plants ranging from pure, unmarked white to heavily marked deep pink. The example illustrated was a particularly robust orchid that stood fully 60cms tall.  

The photographs come from the New Forest of southern England and date from the beginning of July.