Big Garden HomeBig Garden and CroftMorning Dew Orchid: Dactylorhiza Incarnata


Morning Dew Orchid: Dactylorhiza Incarnata — 7 Comments

  1. Yes, a very strange name for such a very beautiful plant. The Graeco-Latin name refers to its roots I think – Dactyl is Greek for finger or digit and rhiza means the root. Incarnata is the Latin for fleshy. So it has flesh-coloured finger-like roots?! have you ever pulled one up to see? – why would you when the flower is so very lovely.
    I prefer the name you have given it, and it reminds me of my Greek and Latin classes. Of course we read Homer! Homer liked to give standard epithets to words (he was really a poetic bard who recited his poems and needed help with his memory). Dawn for Homer was always described as rhododactulos. The standard translation is rosy-fingered, but my naughty (and elderly) classics master (teaching in an all girls school) preferred to translate it as rosy-toed ….. hmmmm.
    This is a complete non-sequitur, but somehow fits pleasingly with the name you have gifted the plant!

    • D > Over the 10 years we’ve had the croft, these have become ever more numerous. They seem to do best where the vegetation is grazed lightly once or twice a year but not May-July, when the orchids are actively growing and with flowers.

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