Gymnadenia rhellicani

(syn. Nigritella nigra aggr.)
Black Vanilla Orchid

Hautes Alpes, France - June 2014

Gymnadenia rhellicani is one of 13 very closely related species that were formerly known as the Nigritella nigra agg. Chemical comparisons of the flower pigments and analysis of molecular markers have, howver, resulted in the Nigritella genus being subsumed by Gymnadenia. Of the 13 species only G. rhellicani and the more easterly distributed G. austriaca are widespread. All the others are rare and very local.

Valais, Switzerland - July 2014