Gymnadenia conopsea (L.) R. Br., or the fragrant orchid, is one of many plant species negatively influenced by new practices in agriculture and forestry during the last decades. This study describes the level of microsatellite variation within and among 10 Swedish populations of this species. It was not possible to detect strong effects of small population size or fragmentation. In general, the species had high genetic variation within and low genetic divergence among populations, although the correlation between population size and number of alleles was close to significance at the 95% level. Also, a significant isolation by distance effect was observed, indicating the presence of modest restrictions in gene dispersal between the investigated populations.