Unexpected orchid

A place to share photos you've taken in meadows.
Paul O
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Unexpected orchid

Post by Paul O »

Five days ago I noticed something large and purple sticking-up in a small mixed wildflower patch in our field by the brook:-
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It looks like a pyramidal orchid, which I've not seen anywhere around here before.
porchid2.jpg
This field, a meadow in the making, was used for cow grazing/silage by the local farmer for many years until fortunately he decided a few years ago we had planted too many trees in it for silaging to be worthwhile, starting us on a discovery about meadow-creation..

Although it's not yet bursting with wildflowers it's a lovely place to visit at present - with a book, chair and camera I walk 40 paces down the garden to a sheltered spot in dappled shade and spend a couple of hours in my own little world, keeping an eye out for orange tips (a fair number), speckled woods (plenty) and beautiful demoiselles (everywhere), and listening to the dunnocks and warblers.
chairview.jpg
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Steve Pollard
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Re: Unexpected orchid

Post by Steve Pollard »

It's a southern marsh orchid.
Paul O
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Re: Unexpected orchid

Post by Paul O »

After last year's unexpected orchid became two this year and were eaten by a deer, we found six more orchids in three different small wildflower patches in the garden:-
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The first two look vulnerable and are now inside a chicken-wire cage.
So our garden is now more meadow-like than the meadow! Can someone confirm the species please?
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Steve Pollard
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Re: Unexpected orchid

Post by Steve Pollard »

Oh, that's a relief, Paul! :)

These are also Southern Marsh.
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Re: Unexpected orchid

Post by Jane W »

👍great news. Is that also a betony leaf in the lower left hand corner of the first photo?
Paul O
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Re: Unexpected orchid

Post by Paul O »

Yes, there's some Betony in that little wildflower patch and quite a lot in another patch just below. Also Yarrow, and Knapweed showing its flower heads. Actually in flower now are Campion (nearly finished), Yellow Rattle (vigorous this year), Buttercup, Oxeye Daisy, Cat's Ear, Ribwort Plantain and one or two Rumex species. I'll try to get some decent pictures of these patches when they are a bit more colourful. Last year we had some extra solar panels erected on the ground near the house and today as I trundled past them on the mower I almost cut yet another pesky Southern March Orchid cheekily poking up amongst the longish grass! We are so surprised that so many have appeared for the first time all within two years in so many different places. I shall have to learn more about these plants:- Do they flower in their first year? How can you recognise the plant as it first emerges?
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