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Love Potion... or Just a Load of Orchids?

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The Early Purple Orchid is, as the name suggests, one of the first orchids to flower in the U.K. each year.  You'll find this plant in woods, at woodland edges, and in damp meadows.

Early purple orchids are not as common as they used to be, and part of the reason for their decline could be due to the fact they were used as an ingredient in a powerful ancient love potion.

The scientific name for the Early Purple Orchid is Orchis mascula.  The word 'orchid' originates from the Greek word 'orkhis' which literally means 'testicle', and masculu means "male" or "virile". If you've ever seen the two rounded, tuberous roots of an orchid you'll understand why they have this name.  One of the tubers is bulbous, the other a bit shrivelled.  In times gone by the full one was used as an aphrodisiac, while the other was used to "restrain" passion!

But please, don't try this at home.  If you need help in the love department please just talk to your doctor.  Wild orchids really won't fix it and they're scarce enough already.

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