This genus of orchid includes the easiest of terrestrial species, including the marsh orchids that are so widespread in Britain and throughout much of Europe (and elsewhere). The name describes the curious white root structure, with several ‘fingers’ radiating from a swollen central section . The flowers, in colours from rich pinks to pure white, come in tightly packed spikes, and are backed by long leaves, usually strongly patterned with purplish spots or blotches. The plants can multiply quickly, typically giving two shoots where a year earlier they had just one. Foliage should not be cut back until after it is fully dead in the autumn, or infection may enter the new tubers.