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Terrestrial orchid, a perennial herbaceous flowering plant from Orchidaceae family. It has a long stem, about 40 cm tall, without branches, with long and narrow basal leaves spread at the base of plant. Other leaves are barely visible, hardly separated from the stem. Inflorescence, untypically, is taking a somewhat rounded form (the typical form here http://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/165...) ; with small pink, hermaphroditic flowers densely packed. The flowers have six tepals: two small petals are on the sides, while the third and lower (labellum) is large, with two small flaps. At the back of the flower there is a fine and long tubular spur, positioned horizontally. Flower is barely 1 cm in diameter.
This orchid is a very common one in our region, and I observed it in a wide variety of habitats, from mountain grasslands to lower-altitude meadows; but always well exposed to sun. Here, observed growing alone (one only plant) on edges of deciduous, predominantly oak, (Bagasse forest) forest on France-Switzerland border, in a valley of lake Geneva, just in between Jura and Alps mountains ranges.
This orchid has also found its use in medicine and cuisine; as the dried and ground tuber gives a fine white powder, called salep. This is a very nutritious sweet starch-like substance. It is used in drinks, cereals and in making bread. It is also used medicinally in diets for children and convalescents.