Dactylorhiza aristata (Fisch. ex Lindl.) Sóo

Fischer's Orchid, Keyflower

Facts About

Accepted Synonyms: Orchis aristata, Orchis beeringiana, Orchis latifolia var. beeringiana

Dactylorhiza aristata, also known as Fischer's Orchid, is found in Alaska and the Aleutian Islands where it grows in moist open meadows, tundra, bogs, hillsides, alpine slopes, wet peaty seeps, and heath mats. This orchid is variable, with leaves that may be solid purple, solid green or green with purple spots. The terminal raceme emerges before the leaves and is densely flowered, ranging in color from purple to pink to white. The labellum may display purple spots or streaks or be solid. This orchid has no fragrance and is poisonous- livestock are reported to avoid it on Kodiak Island.

Dactylorhiza aristata is apparently secure.


The pollinators of this orchid are unknown in North American populations but European populations appear to be capable of self-fertilization and Eurasian populations have been documented as pollinated by insects.

Notes on Subspecies and Varieties

Ecosystem Type

Bogs, meadows, tundra


Leaf arrangement:
Number of leaves on stem:
  • two
  • three
  • four
  • five
Form of the labellum:
the labellum is not pouch-like
Labellum outline:
the labellum is lobed
Main color of labellum:
  • blue to purple
  • pink to red
  • white
Nectar spur:
Inflorescence type:
the inflorescence is a raceme
Labellum characteristics:
the labellum is lobed
Labellum length:
8–12 mm
Sepal length:
8–15 mm
Plant height:
Up to 40 cm
Show All Characteristics

Native to North America


North American Conservation Status & Distribution

Conservation Status

Select a location to view conservation status:

Conservation and Wetland Status
Global Rank Apparently Secure
US Status N/A
Canadian Status N/A

North America Distribution

Adapted from USDA data