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Butterfly Orchid

The butterfly orchid (Platanthera bifolia) was elected as being the orchid of the year in 2011 by the AHO (working group for native orchids). 

This orchid species prefers calcareous soil, clear deciduous, coniferous and mixed forests, nutrient-poor grassland, moors and low moors.
The stems of the butterfly orchids reach a height of 20 to 50cm and feature two lanceolate leaves above the ground. Further up the stem are one to four small leaves. The greenish-white flowers of the richly flowering head carry an up to 4cm long spur.

The attractive sweet scent of the butterfly orchid is especially strong during the night. This scent attracts nocturnal butterflies, which can reach the nectar in the spur top with their long proboscis.
The butterfly orchid is listed as a completely protected species according to the Tirolean Nature Preservation Regulation of 2006. 

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