Stems, sometimes purple near the top, hold numerous pink flowers which are patterned with darker pink–purple. The alternate, stalkless leaves, which gradually become smaller towards the crown, are lanceolate with an entire margin and are attractively covered in dark purple spots. As implied by the common name, they will thrive in damp, even wet places where they can double up reliably each year.
IMPORTANT! DO NOT SOW SEEDS IN POTS OR TRAYS, THEY WILL NOT GERMINATE IF YOU DO THIS. SPRINKLE THINLY DIRECT ONTO DAMP UNDISTURBED GROUND, OR EVEN A DAMP WILD GRASSY AREA. PLEASE BE PATIENT AS THEY ARE VERY SLOW TO GERMINATE AND YOU WILL SEE NO SEEDLINGS FOR AT LEAST A YEAR, AND WHEN YOU DO SPOT THEM THEY WILL BE VERY SMALL INDEED. DO NOT MOVE THEM AS THEY ARE BEST GROWN WHERE THEY HAVE GERMINATED, OFTEN TAKING TWO OR MORE YEARS BEFORE THEY ARE BIG ENOUGH TO BE NOTICED. PLEASE BE VERY PATIENT AS THEY ARE WORTH THE WAIT.
Common name:Early Marsh Orchid