Wednesday, 19 June 2013


Just one word describes this morning's walk - Orchids!
I was just saying yesterday, how the Bee Orchids are not yet in flower, but this morning, as we walked through Shipley Park, on towards Cinder Hill and Mapperley Reservoir, we were treated to the sight of innumerable orchids flowering in the meadows.  The most abundant at the moment are the Southern Marsh Orchids (Dactylorhiza praetermissa).  Among the Buttercups, they make a wonderful show.
Closer in and the true beauty of these flowers becomes more obvious.  Their spotted 'throats' and pale purple colour stand out among the fresh green of the meadow.
Identification of orchids can be problematic at times as members of the same species can often appear quite different.  Southern Marsh Orchids for example can be all colours from these purple ones, through pink to pure white.  Close by, some more Southern Marsh Orchids were displaying this variation.
With the Southern Marsh, there were also several Common Spotted Orchids (Dactylorhiza fuchsii).  These too vary enormously from plant to plant, making life difficult when identifying these little beauties.  No problem with these though.
No doubt there will be many more pictures of orchids to come, so keep watching!
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