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Flower  Pyramidal Orchid

Pyramidal Orchid - Photo  Copyright 2003 Gary Bradley
Photo: G. Bradley

UK Safari Tip:
One of the most useful field guides to wild flowers is this one at the Amazon bookshop - click here

Latin name: Anacamptis pyramidalis

Size: From 30cms to 50cms tall.

Distribution: Found throughout the UK although rare in Scotland

Flowering months: June to August

Habitat: Found on chalky or limestone grassland. Sometimes in sand dunes. They can be found in old chalk pits, new chalky roadside verges, and on chalk downland where rabbits have disturbed the ground.

Special Features: An attractive looking orchid with dense spikes of pink or pale purple flowers, each with a long spur. The plant gets its name from the conical, or pyramid-shaped arrangement of these flowers. The flowers have no scent.

The narrow, unspotted leaves which sheath the flower stem are shaped like the keel of a boat.

Orchids, like most things in nature, can be very unpredictable. One year you might see a whole carpet of flowers, while the following year there may be just a few blooms.

The reason is that the seed of the orchid does not contain enough nourishment to produce leaves and flowers. To make up for this the seed relies on fungus in the soil to provide the nourishment.

This underground fungus-root relationship can take several years to fully develop before the roots are ready to send up leaves and flowers.

Did You Know?
There are 25,000 known species of orchid in the world. Around 50 of these species can be found growing wild in the UK countryside.

Track Down More Info

UK Safari Wild Flower Section
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  2006 G. Bradley. All Rights Reserved