Early purple orchid

Orchis mascula

Early purple orchid, photo: Arne Ader

Early purple orchids are unicameral perennial herbaceous plants in the Orchidaceae family. They grow up to 15–40 cm in height. They blossom in May and June. The flowers are violet and almost smell-less, with 9–30 flowers in one inflorescence. They have a round, pointed tuber. Early purple orchids are protected in Estonia (protection category II). They are mostly endangered by their habitat becoming underwood or being destroyed in another way. Additionally, wild boars like to feed on the tubers.