UK Orchids are wide and wonderful in range
Orchids grow in a variety of habitats and I’m finding that part of how to identify them (much like with wildflowers generally) is where they are growing.
Marsh and Spotted Orchids – Dactylorhiza
Possible Common spotted orchid
This beautiful pale lavender pink orchid I photographed recently was growing in a sunny but marshy area in June in Kent and had spotted leaves. I think it is a Common spotted orchid – Dactylorhiza fuchsii, but I’m a little orchid blind, and I have read that Dactylorhiza are very variable and hybridise easily. So if you’re knowledgeable do let me know!
Bee, Spider and Fly Orchids – Ophrys
Pyramidal orchid – Anacamptis pyramidalis
I remember my first encounter with this on a nature walk at Primary school when I identified it with the help of an I-Spy Wildflowers book and a teacher. The one photographed below was spotted on the Eastbourne walk mentioned above and was about a hundred metres from the pale bee orchid.
Early-purple orchid – Orchis mascula
Here are some photos I took of this flower in profusion in the Battle area in grass and hedgerows on May Day. The leaves were about 10cm long, broad, glossy and spotted. The big blousy flowers were vibrant red-purple.
I’m aware there are many more British orchids than this, and hope to add more as I find them! I hope to add further ID info and split the species off into their own page in the long term.
Blog posts mentioning Orchids including Dactylorhiza, Orchis, Ophrys and Anacamptis species are tagged Orchid