Dactylorhiza majalis
(Reichenbach) P.F. Hunt & Summerhayes
[Dactylorhiza maculata] (Linnaeus) Soo
Spotted Orchid, Timmins Orchid
Leopard Marsh Orchid

Location Ontario and Newfoundland.
Specific Habitat

Presumed to favour wet ground and open areas, because related to the British and European 'marsh orchids'. Only known locations near Timmins, Ontario (Cochrane District): on the shores of a lake and in a semi-open alder thicket.

Flowering SeasonEarly to mid July.

Height to 60 cm.
Leaves basal, broad, upper ones narrow, spotted with purple.
Raceme dense, cylindrical, up to 50 flowers.
Flowers rose-pink; sepals broad at the base, tapering, curved, marked with many spots and lines; petals forming a hood over the lip; lip broad, three-lobed, middle lobe irregular, heavily marked.


The Timmins Orchid was first reported as Orchis purpurella Steph. & Steph. (Andrews,1961), but in 1972 a specimen at TRT was revised to Dactylorhiza majalis (Reichenb.) Hunt & Summerhayes by L.A. Garay. Photographs and herbarium specimens were sent by J. McNeill to P.S. Hunt, formerly orchid specialist at Kew. Dr. Hunt and other British experts think the Timmins plant belongs to the complex Dactylorhiza maculata group. The plant's origin at Timmins is a mystery and the plants have not been identified with certainty. It is unlikely the plant reached Canada by natural means, since Timmins is a long way from coastlines.
Plants were still present near Gillies Lake in 1984, although a large part of the colony had been destroyed by road construction.
Discovery of this orchid in 1996 near St. John's, Newfoundland suggests escape or introduction. Catling, P.M., and C.J. Sheviak, 1993. Chase, H.J. and S.J. Meades. 1996 NANOJ


Guide to Orchids of North America
Orchids of Ontario
The Wild Orchids of North America, North of Mexico


© Royal Botanical Gardens, Dr. Donald Gunn Image Collection.