A diminutive and attractive plant of usually growing on short turf on alkaline soils. Leaves arranged in a rosette tight to the ground that shrivels before flowering, when the next years rosette is formed. Flower spike up to 30cm (12in) high but more usually 10-20cm (4-8inches). Small white flowers arranged in either left-or right-handed spiral, occasionally straight. Little variation in flowers that are white and green with a down-turned lip.
In Britain, a plant of the southern chalk and limestone growing on heavily grazed turf, often found in lawns. Can be found growing in very large numbers but rapidly cease flowering if outcompeted by other taller-growing herbs. Flowers relatively late from July through to September.
Widespread in Europe although not particularly common.
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