Gymnadenia odoratissima 

Scope: Global & Europe
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Liliopsida Asparagales Orchidaceae

Scientific Name: Gymnadenia odoratissima (L.) Rich.
Common Name(s):
English Short Spurred Fragrant Orchid , Scented Gymnadenia
Habenaria odoratissima (L.) Franch.
Orchis odoratissima L.
Satyrium odoratissimum (L.) Wahlenb.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2011-04-11
Assessor(s): Rankou, H.
Reviewer(s): Fay, M. & Bilz, M.
European regional assessment: Least Concern (LC)
EU 27 regional assessment: Least Concern (LC)

Gymnadenia odoratissima is rather local and sometimes abundant where it occurs with a large distribution area in Europe. The extent of occurrence is greater than 20,000 km² and the existing threats for the species and the habitats are unlikely to cause the populations to decline quickly in the near future. However, local declines have been noted and the species is included in several national red lists. Local conservation actions are therefore recommended. Therefore, Gymnadenia odoratissima is assessed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

Gymnadenia odoratissima is a European endemic orchid found from southern Sweden to northern Spain, east to the Carpathians and in all the regions of northern Italy except Liguria. The species can be found up to 2,700 m altitude. (Bournérias and Prat 2005, Delforge 1995, GIROS 2009, Pignatti 1982, Rossi 2002, The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew 2010, Vakhrameeva et al. 2008).

Countries occurrence:
Austria; Belarus; Belgium; Croatia; Estonia; France (France (mainland)); Germany; Hungary; Italy (Italy (mainland)); Latvia; Lithuania; Moldova; Poland; Romania; Russian Federation (Central European Russia); Serbia; Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain (Spain (mainland)); Sweden; Switzerland; Ukraine
Regionally extinct:
Czech Republic; Luxembourg
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:132
Upper elevation limit (metres):2700
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]


Gymnadenia odoratissima is rather local and sometimes abundant within its sites. The number of individuals in each populations is fairly high with strong fluctuations in the number of mature individuals. The population is decreasing on many sites due to numerous threats. (Bournérias and Prat 2005, Delforge 1995, GIROS 2009, Pignatti 1982, Rossi 2002, Vakhrameeva et al. 2008).

Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

Gymnadenia odoratissima typically grows in grassland, meadows, marshes, flushed slopes, mountain pastures, road verges, grassy moorland and rarely xerophitic short grassland. It prefers moist to damp, calcareous substrates. This species grows in full sunlight and flowers from May to August.(Bournérias and Prat 2005, Delforge 1995, GIROS 2009, Pignatti 1982, Rossi 2002, Vakhrameeva et al. 2008).


Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade:

The bulb is very nutritious when cooked. It is a source of 'salep', a fine white to yellowish-white powder that is obtained by drying the tuber and grinding it into a powder. Salep is a starch-like substance which can be made into a drink, added to cereals or to bread. It can be prepared in the same way as arrowroot. A jelly can be made from the salep which is used to treat irritations of the gastro-intestinal canal (Plants For a Future 2010). This species is collected for horticultural use.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

Gymnadenia odoratissima is locally declining on many sites due to numerous anthropogenic threats especially ploughing, agricultural use, conversion of grassland into arable land, drainage and land improvement. Abandonment of grazing causes scrub to invade and subsequently competition; overgrazing on the other hand leads to loss of species diversity. In addition, the species is affected by collection of the plant by garden lovers and of the tuber for the production of salep, by urbanisation and tourism. (Bournérias and Prat 2005, Delforge 1995, GIROS 2009, Pignatti 1982, Rossi 2002, Vakhrameeva et al. 2008).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: All orchid species are included under Annex B of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). This orchid is listed in several national red lists:
  • Regionally Extinct in Czech Republic (Holub and Procházka 2000) and Luxembourg (Colling 2005)
  • Endangered in Hungary (Király 2007)
  • Vulnerable in France (UICN France et al. 2010) and Germany (level 3- Ludwig and Schnittler 1996)
  • Near Threatened in Sweden(Gärdenfors 2010)
  • Least Concern in Switzerland (Moser et al. 2002)
  • Data Deficient in Croatia (Nikolić and Topić 2005)
The following actions are recommended to protect Gymnadenia odoratissima:
  • Protection of the habitat from ploughing, agricultural uses and conversion to arable land.
  • Fencing the vulnerable sites to protect the species.
  • Management of appropriate levels of grazing.
  • Control and management of the salep production from the tubers.
  • Water regime must be ensured, drainage of downs and pastures should be avoided, and provision of small dams may be necessary to avoid drying of the site.
  • Raise public awareness.
  • Protection of the living individuals through legislation which bans the species from being picked or dug up.
  • Ex situ conservation: Artificial propagation, re-introduction, seed collections.
  • Monitoring and surveillance of the existing populations and sites.
  • Estimate the population size and study their dynamics.
(Bournérias and Prat 2005, Delforge 1995, GIROS 2009, Pignatti 1982, Rossi 2002, Vakhrameeva et al. 2008).

Citation: Rankou, H. 2011. Gymnadenia odoratissima. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T175997A7166278. . Downloaded on 21 September 2018.
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