Photo gallery Mull Orchids
Northern Marsh Orchid (Dactylorhiza purpurella)

It is an offence under the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004 
to 'deliberately or recklessly pick, collect, cut, uproot or destroy a wild plant'.

Northern Marsh Orchid 3rd June 2010. 

Northern Marsh Orchid in June 2008

Northern Marsh Orchid 3rd June 2010  - Calliach 

Orchids can be very unpredictable. One year you might see a whole carpet of flowers, while the following year there may be just a few blooms.
The reason is that the seed of the orchid does not contain enough nourishment to produce leaves and flowers. To make up for this the seed relies on fungus in the soil to provide the nourishment.
This underground fungus-root relationship can take several years to fully develop before the roots are ready to send up leaves and flowers.