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 Post subject: Orchids in Dorset
PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 8:39 pm 
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I live in: United Kingdom (England)
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I spent the weekend in Dorset with some friends, and took the opportunity to visit one of the country's hotspots for orchids, the coast stretching westwards from Durlstone. This is well-known for its huge colonies of the early spider orchid (Ophrys sphegodes). I had not seen a single species of orchid growing in such profusion in the UK before. It reminded me of Greece in its abundance. In some areas, everywhere you looked was stems of this orchid. As well as this rather special plant, I saw a huge number of early purple orchid (Orchis mascula) and an unexpected green-winged orchid (Anacamptis morio).

First, a bit of habitat... the plants grow at their densest along the very first ridge above the cliffs above the sea typically. After the first ridge the hills undulate off inland, but it's the first ridge where the magic is.

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On the sea-face of the ridge, but not on the flatter top part, I found one solitary plant of Anacamptis morio, flowering rather early. There were probably plenty more of these on the top, but I started overlooking them and mixing them up with the more abundant early purple orchids.

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Then all over the ridge were countless early spider ordhids:

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Along with this, there were large colonies of early purple orchid:

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And these were some of the early purple orchids themselves. This is the typical colour, although there were occasional plants in rather lovely pale rose colours:

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 Post subject: Re: Orchids in Dorset
PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 7:47 am 
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