Orchis sancta - Anacamptis sancta - Sacred orchid

Botanical rarities 

The orchids in this category are extremely rare botanical varieties. Some of them are delicate plants that are less tolerant than the orchids in the 'Easy Garden' category. They are more suitable for a connoisseur audience...

The orchis (Anacamptis) sancta is a Mediterranean species that is usually found on calcareous soils in full sun.

Its distribution is largely based on the eastern Mediterranean, occurring somewhat sporadically in the Aegean islands, Cyprus, Anatolia and the Near East. Although it can be numerically abundant in its preferred locations, it is decidedly local. 

Spring flowering (April) produces 20-45 cm flower stalks with variable pink to dark purple flowers.

The bulbs of this plant are widely used in Turkey for the production of Salep, a popular local drink.

It is a species that goes dormant in the summer and begins to develop in the autumn; no vegetation is usually visible during the summer.

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Data sheet

RangeCollection Garden
ColorPink-mauve, Red-purple
FloweringApril, May
Height20-40 cm
HardinessHalf-Hardy (-10°C)
Presentation1 liter container, flowering size plant, 1-2 shoots

More info

This mainly European genus contains species of very varied shapes and colours. From their rosette of leaves emanates a dense spike of spectacular, delicately cut flowers.

In contrast to other terrestrial orchids, Orchids have a summer dormancy; no vegetation is visible during the summer.

This type of plant is more suited to a connoisseur audience.



Orchids thrive in calcareous or neutral soils, low in organic matter and well drained. Orchids generally grow in drier places than Dactylorhiza, more often in open areas such as meadows, slopes, roadsides, mountainsides, ...

In cultivation, it is advisable to use lava stone (pumice) or fine quartz to keep the soil light and well drained. We recommend adding a small amount of compost low in organic matter or clay (maximum 5%).



The ideal location will be sunny or semi-shaded.


Growth Phase…

Unlike most other terrestrial orchids, Orchids are characterized by a summer dormancy; new leaves appear in late autumn or winter and persist until the flowers bloom in spring and disappear as soon as flowering is over. No vegetation is usually visible during the summer.

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