Svante Malmgren         Henric Nyström

Orchid propagation



Ophrys               Orchis (Anacamptis),Himantoglossum               Dactylorhiza               Gymnadenia

Coeloglossum,Leucorchis,Platanthera,Neottianthe,Nigritella               Cypripedium


and a few more…

Plants in the “old” genus Orchis have
recently been reorganized and some
renamed by professor Richard Bateman
in England.
We continue to use to old nomenclature
here, together with the new one, in order
not to confuse conservative Scandinavian
readers too much. Hopefully we will not
provoke too much anger among modern
For short, we sometimes refer to the
O/A/N-group of orchids.

There are some wonderful species within
these genera. Most Orchis/Anacamptis/
Neotinea species that grow in Sweden
are just hardy on the Baltic Islands
of Gotland and Öland where the winters
are relatively mild.
Orchis mascula grows in limestone areas
in inland southern Sweden – but also very
close to the coast in northern Norway.
These orchid species often have very
specific habitat requirements and as
a result do not always grow well in all

In some parts of Europe, several O/A/N
species are very rare and under the threat
of extinction. Local conservation projects
that include artificial propagation are
undergoing trials in some places, such as
in England for Orchis militaris and in
Switzerland and Germany for Orchis/
Anacamptis coriophora and Orchis/
Anacamptis palustris.Other projects are being planned and there arenice reports about projects in northern Italy. Until now, such work has been limited by the difficulties associated with propagation techniques.

One should be very suspicious of offers
of affordable, large flowering-sized O/A/N plants from nurseries or the Internet.
The plants are not commonly produced by artificial propagation and many are illegally traded and are sourced from wild sites like the Alps, where some species are locally common. There is still a problem in Sweden, too, where plant theft on a large scale for commercial purposes continues in Öland and Gotland. For example, on April 22  2005, police at the port of Visby on Gotland arrested two Danish men whose car turned out to be full of stolen plants, mainly different species of Orchis, but also Epipactis atrorubens. One of the men had been selling orchids regularily for several years “as his speciality” both openly and on the Internet. We hope that this has now come to an end.

We can propagate several, but not all,
species within this group on a large scale and hope that with the help of collegues we will soon solve the problems that remain.
The remaining problem is mostly a germination problem – from mature seed. Once germinated, all seem to grow well on described media – if certain temperature requirements are followed!
A  few species still seem to germinate
poorly or not at all from mature seed.
A few species germinate better from
half-mature seed than from mature, but as there usually is a large number of seed in a single capsule, sowing of mature seed in most cases gives a sufficient degree of germination. However, our main problem with propagation, or rather growing on soil, is the Swedish climate. Only Orchis mascula is truly hardy outdoors where we live. Keeping plants frost-free over the winter and growing them in a cool greenhouse in the spring can rather easily save other species, such as Orchis/Anacamptis simia, militaris, laxiflora and morio.
Some other species such as O. purpurea
and Spitzelii, however, are sensitive not only to freezing but also excess moisture in winter.


Please, read the Ophrys page first! Ophrys are very easy to propagate from seed and can be seen as a “standard”, from which minor variations should be done to propagate Orchis/Anacamptis and close relatives.

Also this Orchis/Anacamptis page might
sound and look a little repetetive in
text and photos – but this is just to illustrate the similarities and the simplicity in propagating the large majority of these species!!

However, in contrast to Ophrys propagation, there are in propagation of Orchis/Anacamptis etc some very important temperature requirements to follow over the year.

When propagating Orchis/Anacamptis from the Mediterranean area, just very few  species seem to behave just like the Mediterranean Ophrys and Serapias, with a rather quick development on medium, without any certain temperature requirements.

Orchis/Anacamptis etc from Central Europe on the other hand, and the majority of those from the Mediterranean area, from our experience, strongly seem to benefit or
even demand a cool treatment of at least 10-12 weeks at a certain size of protocorm development.

This period is when the protocorm is 3-5 mm size and indicating the start of a shoot, but no root. Probably this corresponds to natural cycle with germination in early autumn, followed by a cool but usually frostfree winter. Several photos will illustrate this condition.

Possibly/probably different clones from
different climate zones will behave and
respond differently to temperature
sequences. But the temperature sequence should be kept in mind if you have problems with Orchis/Anacamptis propagation. Some species can well be grown without cool treatment – as O/A morio – but as photos indicate, growth and tuber production seems much better if also plants in this species are given a cool period.

The length of the cool period needed seems to be 8-12 weeks. Temperature should be rather close to Zero centigrades for the Central European ones; 2 – 4 C seems optimal.

After coming out of the fridge, plants still
should be kept in rather low and just slowly
increasing temperature for 2-3 months more.This is the period when leaves and roots quickly develop. The tubers ripen a little later on, in a little higher temperature. If given high temperature too early, often just very small tubers develop quickly, plants believing a hot dry summer is close.

The best time to get all Central European
Orchis/Anacamptis “out of the fridge” is
January-March. This means into the fridge
8-12 weeks earlier – with correct protocorm size!!

Most Mediterranean species seem to
prefer growing on sterile medium in 6-8-10 degrees C during winter under (weak artificial) light. When temperature gets higher in spring, they quickly produce leaves and tubers.

The time it takes to develop mature tubers
on medium from seed-sowing varies a little
from species to species when grown asymbiotically. The seed of some will germinate just a few days after sowing whereas others will take two months and some require a cool treatment also after sowing. If the time of sowing is adjusted to the speed of growth and the specific requirements of the particular species, though, many nice little tubers will be produced on medium at the correct time for potting up in soil during the summer dormancy. It is important to give freshly de-flasked tubers of Central European species a “semi-dry” resting period of 4 to 6 weeks after they have been transfered to soil in the summer. Afterwards, more regular watering and normal temperature fluctuations will result in uneventful continued growth.

Use “suitable” soil and forget about the mycorhiza…

Mediterranean Orchis species, in common with Mediterranean Ophrys etc, require a dry or semi-dry resting period in soil after de-flasking of at least 3-4 months! It is not possible start them into growth earlier by watering them…you will kill them that way! The shorter dry rest period requirement of the Central European species is an adjustment to the different climate there, of course. This difference between plants of Mediterranean and central European origin depends on genetically programmed factors that may vary even between individuals of the same species.

All Orchis/Anacamptis species are replated to fresh medium just once; 2-3-4 months after germination, as with most other orchids described on this web-site. Even plants of the few species that are to be grown two years on medium, can remain on the same, 2nd medium.

Central European species:

Orchis mascula is rather easy to  propagate, as illustrated by photos, but germination rate (from mature seed)  is highly variable depending on clone and geographic origin. O mascula pinetorum from Greece has a germination rate of 100% within a week, whereas Swedish plants might even need a cool treatment in order to germinate in acceptable numbers. Half-mature seed, approx 6-7 weeks after pollination germinate very well. However, once germinated in either way, growth is rather uneventful – if the temperature cycle is followed.

Growing medium: Same as to almost all
species described here: Standard Vaminolac
medium with 20 ml pine-apple-juice
( neutralized with NH3) + 0,5 – 1 cm3
piece of potato in each flask à  20 ml medium.
Note: The pine-apple juice is more important than the potato, that can be left out!

Sowing time and seed treatment: Sowing is
best late summer or early autumn. Seed
coats are rather thin, but can vary with
different clones. Usually 0,5 % NaClO
for 10-15 minutes.

Growth on medium: Initially somewhat slow.
Into the fridge at 3-4 mm size. Out of
the fridge after 2-3 months and leaves and
tubers will develop.

Potting on soil: As almost all species
here described, with dormant tubers in summer.

Flowering: A few plants – however small –
flowered first year in soil. In many cases,
in good growing conditions, normally 2nd
year on soil.


Orchis militaris is very easy to propagate
artificially on large scale on medium, but
as previously mentioned we some years
have problems with plants in soil during
a Swedish winter. If kept outdoors a cold winter, the tubers freeze. If hosted in a frost-free cool green-house the shoots might rot because the temperature might go too high too early in the year. After some winters, however, the result is very good. This illustrate the specific requirements of the species for comparatively mild winters like those that occur on Gotland and Öland.


Like Orchis mascula, plants/seed of Orchis
militaris from different areas behave a little differently. Mature seed of Continental – or British – origin germinate rather quickly if sown late summer and will produce tubers following summer. However, mature seed of Swedish Orchis militaris germinate poorly unless given cool treatment 10-12 weeks after sowing, but then, usually 100 % germination rate. .


Sowing medium: As for Orchis mascula.

Sowing time and seed treatment: As with most Orchis/Anacamptis here described, germination “should” occur on sterile medium early autumn. Mature seed of Swedish origin usually germinate within a few weeks to 10-25%. But if the plates are chilled in the fridge for 2-3 months after sowing, normally 100% quickly germinate
when getting out of the fridge. Continental O militaris are sown late summer. Mostly rather thin seed coats (but thicker than those of O. morio and O. Spitzelii). We use 0,5-0,75% NaClO until bleaching.


Growth on medium: Form very long rhizoids and might clump together if sown too tightly.
Replate when the protocorms are of 2-3 mm
size. Cool treatment 2-3 months during winter. Now, Swedish and Continental plants behave a little differently. Continental plants usually rather quickly produce a leaf, roots and a tuber in summer = 9-10 months after sowing, but Swedish plants often need another year on medium and a 2nd cool period. This is probably an adaptation to cooler climate.



Potting on soil: As mentioned, dormant tubers in summer, followed by a “semidry” resting period of 4-6 weeks. Flowering: Third year in soil – but we have so far managed just 8-10 plants to that size, due to climate problems.




Orchis/Anacamptis morio is very
easy to propagate asymbiotically.

Growing medium: As O. mascula etc. Can
probably grow on “any” medium…

Sowing time: Late summer or very early autumn.

Seed treatment: Thin seed coats; 0,3-0,5%
NaClO just 5 – 8 minutes. Normally
100% germination within a few weeks.

Growth on medium: Again, try to get
protocorms, on fresh medium, into the
fridge in Oct-early Decmber at 4-5 mm size.
They will start to grow on, still in the fridge after 6-8 weeks. Now, out of the fridge, still rather low temperature. Big leaves and a big tuber will be produced.

Potting in soil: As other Orchis, dormant
in summer. Usually start to grow within
4 - 6 weeks in August.

Flowering: Sometimes even first year in soil,
at least if given a not too cold first winter in soil. A majority will flower 2nd year in soil


Orchis/Anacamptis laxiflora is quite
as easy to propagate as for example
Orchis/Anacamptis morio.

Growing medium: Like the other
Orchis/Anacamptis species.

Sowing: Thin seed coats, sowing in late
summer/early autumn.



Germination within 4 weeks. At 2 mm protocorm size growth stops – now replate to fresh medium and give them a cool period of 4-6-8 degrees C over winter. After that, they quickly produce long leaves, roots and big tubers.



Potting in soil: Mature tubers in summer. No problem with further growth.  Flowering
3rd year in soil for us. 2nd year could be















Orchis/Anacamptis palustris:
Behaves just like Orchis/Anacamptis
laxiflora except in one respect:

Germination as O/A laxiflora, but after cool
treatment first winter, they following summer
just produce very small plants, almost without leaves or roots. Now, if kept cool a 2nd winter, they following spring/summer quickly will produce leaves and big tubers 2nd year on medium, looking just like O/A laxiflora after one year on medium! Seed of Swedish and of Swiss origin behave this way – maybe just an adaptation to colder climate than O/A laxiflora?











Orchis purpurea is a somewhat variable
but very beautiful species. It grows close to the coast in southern Denmark but freezes if you try to grow it in the inland. It is more common in France and some other countries. It is very easy to propagate on medium if you just manage to germinate the mature seed. They have very thick seed coat. But once germinated, growth is good and uneventful.


Sowing medium: As Orchis mascula etc.



Sowing time and seed treatment: Very very
thick seed coat. Germination “should” in
this species preferably come in March-April-May. In order to make that, seed either are sown in February, or much
better, 2 to 3 months earlier and kept in
the fridge for 2 to 3 months. The latter
gives much better germination, normally
20 to 50% germination rate if seed are
of good quality. But there are 1 000 seeds
in each capsule – so even 10% germination
is OK. The very thick seed coat is best broken with 1% NaClO until the seed bleaches which might take  20-30 minutes!



Growth on medium: Initially slow, but
. Fresh medium after summer
and into the fridge in November for 8 weeks at 3-4-5 mm protocorms size, see photo!. Still somewhat low temperature when getting out of the fridge. By and by they will develop very big leaves, long roots and a big tuber.


Potting in soil: Like the other Orchis/
Anacamptis species, dormant in
summer. 60 – 80% of the tubers will
produce leaves early next spring if kept cool but frostfree over winter. They also can very successfully be grown one year more on medium and then produce very big leaves and tubers, see photo!

Flowering: We have, due to climate situation, just managed to raise single plants to flowering size, 3rd year in soil. (Many plants have been sold after one year in soil.) However, the species should very likely be easy to propagate in large numbers in better climate zones.






Orchis pallens, tried several  times, has not germinated  from mature seed. Maybe still a case for half-mature seed? New trials are going on.




Orchis simia is very easy to propagate
from seed, and is a good “standard” for
propagation technique of Central European


Sowing medium: As O. mascula etc.


Sowing time and seed treatment: Also here,
seed from Central European plants might
behave a littledifferently than seed from the Mediterranean area. The Mediterranean
ones germinate quickly in early autumn, and if kept in 6-8 degrees C over winter, they produce leaves and tubers on medium
quickly in spring or early summer.

However, seed of Central Euopean origin
sometimes germinate slower, and sometimes better after cool treatment, like
Swedish O militaris, and  of that reason
might need two seasons on medium. Some-
what thick seed coat, somewhat slow
germination = 3-6 weeks. Could be sown
either in late summer or 2-3 months earlier for 2-3 months in the fridge after sowing. Normally, after cool treatment, more than 50% of the seed will germinate.
0,75-1% NaClO for 10-15 minutes.





Growth on medium: Very uneventful.
The Mediterranean types grow quickly,
like Ophrys . If more northern types
germinate and grow slower initially,
they might even need a 2nd year on medium, like Swedsih O militaris. Most seem to grow quickly, however, and into the fridge October or November for 8-10 weeks. Out of the fridge in January- February, rather soon weak light , but still somewhat low temperature. Healthy leaves and tubers will quickly develop.



Potting in soil: Like the others, dormant
in summer. More than 90% of the tubers
will develop leaves already in late autumn if kept frostfree. Very easy to grow on soil, if given suitable temperature conditions.




Flowering: Flowering 3rd year on soil, but the species has a rather strong growth and flowering 2nd year in soil should be possible in good growing conditions!
Orchis Spitzelii is a little tricky if not given the certain temperature sequence.Might die if given too high temperature on medium – but excellent result if kept at 4-6 degrees during winter on medium.


Sowing medium: As O. mascula etc.

Sowing time and seed treatment: Thin seed coat, as O/A. morio. Sowing late summer, not too late in autumn. 100% germination within 4 weeks, but slightly slower growth than O/A. morio. 


Growth on medium: As the other Orchis
species, should preferably come into the fridge   late autumn at 3-4-5 mm size. If kept in room temperature, this is the moment of mass death otherwise! When coming out of the fridge, in most cases they behave very well, producing a leaf and a rather big tuber, to be potted in soil dormant in summer.
Flowering: 3rd year in soil. 2nd would be possible if given a mild winter and a long growing season.








 Orchis/Anacamptis coriophora from Germany and Switzerland have been raised in rather large numbers for  conservation projects. Also plants from Spain has been raised. Very easy to propagate, grow well on standard medium ( Vaminolac + potato+2% pine-apple),  germinate within
a few weeks . Keep them cool 2-3-4 months during winter on medium – they will
produce very big plants following summer.
Very easy also to grow on soil.








Flowering– probably – 3rd year on soil.








Orchis/Neotinea ustulata has only been tried in a very small scale on a very few occations, due to lack of seed.

Germination was poor from mature seed,
but a few plants have been raised from
seed.  The plants were kept 2 years on medium, producing very big tubers, and flowered 2nd year on soil!

If just germination can be improved,
propagation of this rare species could to be easy! Sowing of half-mature seed of this species IS a little tricky – due to very small size of seed capsules… The great majority of this species sold from the Internet and plant nurseries over the last decade have certainly NOT been raised artificially but instead raided from the wild in placed like the Alps, Öland and Gotland...






Orchis/Neotinea tridentata and Orchis/
Neotinea lactea have been sown twice with mature seed with very poor result. New attempts are going on and sowing of O/N tridentata from half-mature seed July 2011 resulted in some germination 4-6 weeks after sowing.




Mediterranean Orchis/Anacamptis
species are in many cases just as easy to propagate as Ophrys and Serapias.
But note - as also written above - most species definitely benefit by being kept cool at 6-8-10 degrees C during their first winter on medium, corresponding to natural winter!!! 

Interesting is that in a few of the
Mediterranean Orchis species, many
plants just produce a big protocorm
and/or a very small tuber (without any leaves) first year on medium, but if grown on medium one more year,
leaves and a big tuber are produced.
Also Barlia always behaves that way,
see below. Maybe an adaptation to a
short growing season and underground
living in nature.


Orchis/Anacamptis papilionacea
and O/A.sancta

Orchis papilionacea is a very variable
species. Some subspecies grow better
on potato + pine-apple medium, some
better on “Ophrys medium” = 1 cm3 piece
of turnip instead of potato + pine-apple juice. Orchis sancta grows very well on either of them. Orchis papilionacea can even flower first year in soil, O. sancta 2nd year.




Orchis papilionacea benefits very much
by being kept rather cool 2-3-4 months
first winter on medium. Orchis sancta is not so dependent on vernalization. Both are very easy to propagate and to grow on soil.




















Orchis italica prefers the standard
Orchis medium with potato + pine-apple
juice. A little slow start on medium, try to sow them in summer or very early autumn - but otherwise very easy to propagate and to grow.  Rather thick seed coats. 8-10-12 degrees C in winter seems very beneficial for normal development on medium.

Flowering normally 3rd year on soil,
very easy to keep alive!
































Orchis/Anacamptis fragrans with seed from Greece and from Italy have been
propagated several times. Quick
germination on standard medium, benefits
by being kept in 6-8-10 degrees C over
winter on medium and then quickly
produce tubers. Very easy to keep alive on soil too. We have plants more than 15 years old.

Flowering 3rd year on soil.





















Orchis/Anacamptis punctulata has been raised from seed once, just few plants due to few seed. Growth on medium was uneventful and we could keep the plants on soil a few years but not to flowering size.
Possibly we kept them too warm in winter – what is the winter temperature on Crimea?

Someone got seed for us?

Orchis provincialis, O pauciflora,
O anatolica and O quadripunctata
are described together, as they can be propagated in a similar way. We have just tried them twice and only O provincialis is so far in flowering size. But just following a certain growth cycle, they do not seem to
be very difficult to propagate in large numbers.



Sowing: Early autumn on standard medium.



Germination:  Within 2 weeks, normally
50-100% if well developed seed. Thin
seed coats!




Growth on medium: Replating in autumn as
usual, then definitely better growth if kept (dark) at 6-8-10 degrees C on medium over
winter. In spring  10-50 % of the plants
produce a rather small tuber and sometimes
a small leaf, but the remaining plants just produce a rather big, fat protocorm. Just a very limited number of the plants will produce a leaf and a “normal” tuber first year on medium.





Now, keep them dark and in room temperature 4-5 months, then following autumn and winter, when temperature is going down again, a long leaf and a big tuber is produced, to be potted on soil late
spring or early summer. Also the first little tuber can be potted on soil, but being rather small, they are a little tricky to keep alive.






Growing on soil: We have sown and grown
these species twice; on the first occasion
in rather limited numbers.

O provicialis was kept two years on medium
and was very easy to grow on soil and plants have flowered 3nd year on soil = 5 years from sowing, but 4 years “should” be
possible… The propagation was very easy to reproduce a 2nd time.

O pauciflora was potted on soil with small
tubers after just one year on medium and
half of the plants were lost, probably due to small tuber size.

A small number of one-year-old O anatolica
and O quadripunctata were potted on soil
but failed on that occasion.

A large number of seed of O anatolica and
O quadripunctata have been sown early
autumn 2011 and are  growing on well, see




























Orchis/Anacamptis longicornu has
been sown twice.

Very easy to propagate, like the others.
Germinate quickly on standard medium and
produce  big tubers after being kept at 8-10-12 degreec C over winter on medium.
We have no plants of flowering size yet.
Probably 2nd year on soil.











Mediterranean types of Orchis simia
and Orchis  mascula ( = pinetorum)
are, as mentioned above, very easy to
propagate and grow like Ophrys, O/A papilionacea etc. They are adapted to a mild winter and a short growing season and germinate and produce tubers quickly.

Orchis/Anacamptis hybrids can be raised between some species. For horticultural purposes, however, just a few might have any particular advantage.


O/A morio x O/A papilionacea is a very vigorous and beautiful hybrid. Strong growth, big plants, flowering sometimes first year on soil. Our experience is that it is better to have O morio as the mother plant.
Possibly hardy outdoors in southern parts of England. 





Other hybrids are mostly of curiosity.
In some cases cross-pollination gives viable seed, producing viable plants, sometimes just a capsule without seed is formed, sometimes not even a capsule is formed.
The hybrids are always infertile with own pollen.
























Anacamptis pyramidalis grows in Sweden
in coastal areas of Öland and Gotland.
This indicates that it is sensitive to cold winters. It is very easy to propagate and grow on in large numbers, though.



Sowing medium: Standard medium + turnip
like Ophrys. Can be grown also on
standard medium with potato + pine-apple –
but turnip is better.




Sowing time and seed treatment: Usually
75-100% germination rate from mature seed. Thin seed coat, just 0,3-0,5% NaClO for 5-7 minutes. Should be sown rather early = February – April!!





Growth on medium: Totally uneventful,
but as many Central European O/A
species rather slow start. Fresh medium
in May-June. In early autumn NOT into the fridge, but kept in weak fluorescent)
light at temperatures of 6-8-10 degrees
C during autumn and winter, together
with your Mediterranean O/A species.
Leaves and long, thin roots will develop
during winter. Elevate the temperature by and by from April and a big tuber will quickly develop. If the plant/flask is kept in room temperature during winter, just a very small tuber will be produced.

 Potting in soil: Like other O/A, in summer
with dormant tubers. 75-90% will develop
leaves early autumn.

 Flowering: In many cases 2nd year in soil, especially if given a little extra light in winter.

 Very easy to propagate in large numbers, easy to grow on in suitable climate, and could be a very good garden plant.

Himantoglossum hircinum,
Himantoglossum caprinum and
Himantoglossum adriaticum are easy
to propagate on a large scale
on sterile
medium. We have done it with all these
species several times and it is easy to reproduce if just the temperature cycle is followed...


Sowing medium: Like Orchis mascula etc.
Sowing time and seed treatment: Thin seed coats, short NaClO-time until bleaching. Best time for sowing is March-April. 50-100% germination within 4-6 weeks. Sowing later could also be Successful, but…

Growth on medium: Replate to fresh
medium usually late May or early June.
They will produce very big plants on
medium following spring, so just keep
rather few in each flask! In late summer growth speeds up. Now, they should be grown as Anacamptis pyramidalis, in weak fluorescent light and temperatures of 6 - 8-10 degrees C in autumn and winter. They will produce very big leaves and long roots. When temperature is raised a little in March – April, big tubers will ripen on medium.

Potting in soil: As usual, dormant
in summer. “Semi-dry” resting period
as Orchis/Anacamptis for 4-6 weeks.
New leaves will develop early autumn
From 75-90% of the tubers. Frostfree +
extra light during winter – if grown in Sweden.. Sensitive to excess water in winter, but otherwise rather easy to grow on soil .

Flowering: We have sold almost all plants as two-year old plants and just kept a few and managed to get flowering plants 3rd year on soil.



























Aceras/Orchis anthropophorum has been raised just once earlier due to lack of seed. Germination – without cool treatment – was rather low, but once germinated, growth was uneventful on “Orchis medium”. A few plants  flowered 2007, 3rd year in soil.

More seeds have been sown autumn 2011
in a conservation project, and kept cool after sowing.










Barlia metlesisciana is a very
endangered species, growing on high
altitude on volcano slopes on Tenerife.
Seed were sown in a conservation project
some years ago – and it was very, very
easy to propagate and also to grow on soil.



Thin seed coat, good germination within
a month, growing on standard medium
with potato+pine-apple juice. Sown in late summer, germination within 4 weeks.



However – like some Mediterranean Orchis species – they needed two years on medium in order to produce a ( very)
big tuber and leaves. Low temperature
was needed in order to induce new growth on medium in autumn 2nd year. We have plants 5 years old – we hoped they would flower early spring 2011 – but probably they need the sun of the Canary Islands for that. The plants will be returned to Tenerife but hopefully more seed can be produced before that...




Photos illustrate the simplicity of
propagation of this species!
(They are here growing on the same kind of lime-stone soil as all of our other Orchis/Anacamptis/Himantoglossum
species. No need of any volcano-soil-specific fungus…)




Barlia Robertiana, sown just once in
limited number, behaved much the same
= needing two years on medium, and plants were potted on soil late summer 2011.





















Seed of Himantoglossum caprinum x
Barlia Robertiana
were sown autumn 2010, approx 25 plants are growing well on
medium, mostly behaving like Barlias,
seemingly needing two years on  medium, not one, like Himantoglossum.










Herminium monorchis has been sown twice; 2009 and late summer 2011. The seed has a rather thick seed coat, needing
rather long NaClO-treatment and the seed germinated much better if kept cool 2-3 months after sowing.




Leaves and a very small tuber were
produced following summer – but the
plants were kept on medium another year. New leaves and a somewhat bigger tuber developed following summer in 2011 and 12 – 15 seemingly healthy ones were potted on soil.

Many more seed were sown in August 2011, germinating well.


Gennaria diphylla is a rare species, also growing on the Canary Islands. It is easy to cultivate, increases quickly by division of the tubers, but is also very easy to propagate from seed. Sowing: Thin seed coats, short NaClO-time, use standard Orchis medium. Germinates within a month, produces leaves and then rather big tubers on medium after 8-10 months. Potted on soil like Mediterranean orchids early summer.
We have used the same lime-stone based soil as for all other species, no problems, see photos.
Flowering 3rd year on soil.








Orchis militaris in nature


Neottinea ustulata and Anac morio in nature

O mascula in nature

Orchis mascula in nature

White-flowering, selfpollinated plants in most cases produce just normally coloured seedlings, in this case Anac morio


  Colour variations are common even if sown from a single, selfpollinated seed capsule, in this case Anac pyramidalis

Orchis simia first year in soil, photo November

Orchis purpurea first autumn in soil, photo November

Orchis purpurea on medium, trying to push ouit the cotton plug and escape

Anacamptis pyramidalis, first year in soil, photo May (10 months after potting)

Orchis purpurea + simia - into the fridge-size in November





and out of the fridge 8-10 weeks later on, growth has started in 3 degrees C !!

...and another 6 weeks later on...

and another 2-3 weeks, note the developing tuber!

Orchis Spitzelii, into the fridge in November...

...and out of the fridge 8-10 weeks later on

Orchis mascula, just out of the fridge


Anacamptis pyramidalis tubers, just taken from medium...


...and in December...(frost-free, extra light in Sweden)

Anac papilionacea grows very big on medium (turnip medium in this case))

...and following winter on soil


Orchis mascula, sown from mature seed

O mascula, sown from half-mature seed

Orchis mascula, out of the fridge since 4-6 weeks, photo April

...and in May, developing tubers...

<> ...if left on medium, new leaves and roots develop in autumn

O mascula is tricky to grow in a garden, definitely prefers nature!


...Germinating O militaris, sown a little too crowded

O militaris normally produces tubers on medium 10-12 months after sowing

O militaris 1st year on soil

 O militaris 2nd year on soil

Orchis militaris 3rd year on soil

...and flowering 4th year on soil

 If left on medium, they produce new shoots and roots in autumn...

 ...that can be potted on soil late autumn, cool...

 Germinating Anac morio, 4 weeks from sowing


...and produce very big plants on medium, especially if given cool treatment

...Flowering Anac morio, 2nd year on soil

Anac laxiflora germinates well after 4 weeks

...and after replating and cool treatment, growth speeds up... this, note developing roots

...and tubers are prduced early summer

Anac laxiflora, potted on soil July, photo March...EASY to grow

... Anac laxiflora 2nd year on soil

Flowering Anac laxiflora 3rd year in soil


Anac palustris germinates lika A laxiflora after 4-6 weeks...

but just reaches this size after one year on medium!

BUT if given a 2nd cool treatment, growth is explosive following spring and summer!

...Anac palustris 1st year on soil

...Orchis purpurea has VERY thick seed coats...

...and need long NaClO in order to germinate; bleached seed (Photo Joachim Pischeli)

Some tubers left 4-6 weeks

...and in early autumn;time for replating and cool treatment

...Into the fridge for 8-10 weeks...

...out of the fridge for 6 weeks or so...

The harvest one summer of O prurpurea

Orchis purpurea 1st year on soil

If the tubers are kept on medium, they produce new leaves and roots...

...and very big plants following year

Orchis Spitzelii 1st ...with this tuber size

Flowering O purpurea 5 years from sowing. Tricky in Sweden !! wit

Orchis pallens


Orchis simia, time for replating and into the fridge...


Orchis simia taken from medium in June; note different developing size

...and some have started to grow again

...the harvest of I simia one year...

...and another year. EASY to reproduce!!

Orchis simia first autumn of soil, photo Nov...

...and following summer= 1st year on soil

Orchis simia, 3rd year on soil. Some flower 2nd year on soil!!

Orchis simia, a close-up view

Germinating O Spitzelii

O Spitzelii, out of fridge since 4-6 weeks!

...and just a few weeks later on, note the developing tubers!

...and sson yime for potting on soil in summer

O Spitzelii just taken from medium

 O Spitzelii on soil 1st autumn. Sensitive for excess water!

Some O Spiotzelii 1st year on soil

Flowering O Spitzelii

Germinating seed of Anac coriophora, Swiss origin

and in soil first winter

Anac coriophora, potted on soil in summer, photo late autumn

...and following spring

...and following summer, plants raised for a conservation project

Anac coriophora, grown one year on soil 

Neottinea ustulata in nature

Poor germination...but two little protocorms...

...and a flowering plant 4 years from sowing!

Pollination help in O tridentata

Anac sancta germinates within a few days. Photo 4 weeks from sowing!

 ...and big tubers are produced

Anac sancta on soil

Like Anacamptis pyramidalis, growth speeds up in autumn and winter in lower temperature!

A bunch of flowers early May; Anac sancta and Cowslips

Anac papilionacea is very easily propagated

...and produce big tubers on medium... be potted on soil in summer...

Anac papilionacea is quite variable... “

... or like this, raised from the same seed

...and an early flowering type; grandiflora.

...and a whiote-flowering type, possibly colour-proof!!

Orchis italica germinates a little slowly, don�t sow them too late

...but after a moderate cool treatment, growth is perfect...! this...

 and in early summer like this

O italica in June-July

O italica first winter on soil.

O italica

O italica flowering 3rd year on soil

O italica in May in Sweden in the green-house

Germinating Anac fragrans

...and after replating and cool treatment

Anac fragrans in May

...and in June-July

Anac fragrans first autumn on soil

Anac fragrans first winter on soil

Flowering Anac fragrans 3rd year on soil

O punctulata

Germinating Orchis pauciflora

Germinating Orchis provincialis

Germinating Orchis quadripunctata

Germinating Orchis anatolica

Replated O provincialis in early autumn...

...following spring just fat protocorms and/or a small tuber is produced, no leaves

...but following autumn, when temperature goes down again, leaves and roots are produced... this...

...and tubers...note the spotted leaves

...and finally mature tubers, to be potted on soil

O provincialis 1st year on soil...

...and 2nd year on soil

Flowering O provincialis 3rd year on soil

O quadripunctata 8-10 months from sowing; small tubers are produced. Keep them on medium one more year!

O anatolica 8-10 months from sowing; small tubers are produced.

Tubers of O pauciflora, grown just one year on soil. Small!!

Tubers of O pauciflora, grown one year on soil. Note; tubers but no leaves

GO pauciflora 1st year on soil

Anac longicornu is easy to propagate...

...and produce leaves and tubers like this after a moderate cool treatment

Anac longicornu first winter on soil

Germinating Orchis masculassp pinetorum

O mascula pinetorum taken from medium

On the left Anac papilionacea, on the right Anac morio x papilionacea

Anac morio x papilionacea grandiflora first winter on soil

Anac morio x papilionacea 2nd year on soil

Flowering Anac morio x papilionacea

Anac morio x papilionacea

Anac morio x papilionacea

Anac morio x papilionacea

Hybrid vigour; the hybrid in the middle

Anac papilionacea x O sancta

Anac fragrans x O sancta on the left; O sancta on the right

O militaris x purpurea 1st year on soil!

GAnac pyramidalis 6 weeks after sowing, time for replatement

Anac pyramidalis early autumn

Anac pyramidalis, Himantoglossum and others in 6-8 degrees over winter

Mature tubers of Anac pyramidalis in May-June...

...and following summer; 1st year on soil!

Tubers after one year on soil

Anac pyramidalis is very easy to grow...

...and if given good care, can grow to 60 cm height!

Himantoglossum hircinum 8 weeks after sowing; time for replating

Him hircinum in early autumn. Grow them in low temperature over winter!!

Him hircinum in March-April


Him hircinum on the left; Him adriaticum on the right

Him adriaticum in March-April

Himantoglossum produce big tubers, don�t grow them too crowded

The harvest of Him hircinum one summer

Tubers of this size are produced on medium!

And pot them on soil in summer...

...and keep them dry/semidry 6 - 8 weeks...

and.then water, then in late Sept they will start to grow...

Him hircium in March-April, 1st year on soil

Him hircinum in March-April, 1st year on soil

Adult Himantoglossum in winter

Three flowering Him hircinum and two Him adriaticum to come...

Anac laxiflora and Him hircinum

Seed of Aceras before NaClO-treatment

...and after. Photo Joachim Pischeli

Aceras on medium, developing tubers

Aceras anthropophorum raised from seed

Germinating Barlia metlesisciana...

...just produce fat protocorms and a small tuber 1st year on medium... this...

...but following autumn= one year after sowing. leaves and big tubers are quickly produced! this... this...

...and in springtime...

...and mature tubers in summer

Barlia metlesisciana 1st autumn on soil...

...and in winter; of 140 potted tubers, 116 produced leaves

Barlia met. 2nd year on soil...98 surviving plants...

...but still after 3 years on soil not flowering...

Germinating Barlia Robertiana

Barlia Rob 1st year on soil

Germinating Barlia Rob x Himantoglossum

Barlia Rob x Himantoglossum after one year on medium

Barlia x Himantoglossum first winter on soil

Germinating Herminium monorchis

Herminium taken from medium...small..but healthy!

...and this big first year on soil

Gennaria diphylla is very easily propagated from seed... this

...and 1st year on soil

Germinating Orchis provincialis