Early Purple Orchids
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Scientific name: Orchis mascula
Size: Grows to 60cm
Distribution: Found throughout the U.K.
Flowering months: April to June
Habitat: Woodlands. Occasionally seen on meadows
Special features: Early Purple Orchids are one of the first orchids to flower each year, hence the "Early" part of their name. They look similar to the green-winged orchids, however the Early Purple Orchids have spots or blotches on their leaves.
To confuse things a little there are some pale forms of the species (see photo above) which have almost white flowers and no spots on the leaves.