Monday, 18 January 2010

Pyramidal Orchid

The first orchid I learnt the name of. Its bright flowers are easily spotted, often in profusion by roads and the shape of the dense cone of flowers makes the name easy to remember. As more buds open the flowering stem becomes more globular or cylindrical. It remains easy to identify as there are two raised ridges on the base of the flower lip which is unique to this species. It is pollinated by moths and butterflies and the ridges on the petal guide the proboscis to trigger the pollination mechanism.

Pyramidal orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalis) grows in well drained soil that has calcium in it – from chalky grasslands to sand dunes. It is an early coloniser of new habitats and as such the stirred up soil of roadworks can be ideal. It grows in England mostly in the south central area and not further north than Yorkshire – exhibiting a preference for milder climates. It grows in grass which is close cropped and also where the grass grows taller, the flower still distinctive because of their eye catching colour and shape. It can flower as early as May and as late as August but mostly it flowers from mid-June to mid-July. In Kent and Dorset last year they were fully flowering by mid-June and certainly past their best before mid-July.

8 comments:

billy said...

pyramidial orchids grow as far north as teesside, within a mile of the river mouth, i know because i have seen them at my work place on teessdock

Pamela Kelt said...

Are they common in Kenilworth, Warwickshire. I've just found one and I'm wondering if it's unusual. We're not known for lime soil around these parts!

I'm an orchid fan, not an expert, so if you've any tips, I'd be grateful.
http://orchidmania-pk.blogspot.co.uk/

Pamela Kelt said...

Great photo. Lucky you, but I think my discovery has been revealed as the common bistort! Damn! Never mind. I've since found some local nature reserves that have some other types, such as the twayblade and butterfly orchids. I'm off to Tasker’s Meadow Nature Reserve the next time the sun reappears.

Cyril said...

Hi there I have just seen the Pyramidial Orchid in South East Northumberland, counted around a dozen scattered around a field, it's beautiful.

JM said...

Pyramidal Orchids grow much further north than Yorkshire. I've photographed them in the dunes near Lindisfarne on the Northumberland coast, and I believe they can also be found in coastal areas up in Scotland.

Susanne said...

Yes. Since 2010 there were a rash of records for it up on Scottish coast. It could be moving and expanding its range or could be more recording activity getting more accurate records.

Anonymous said...

discovered pyramidal orchids widely disbursed throughout sandhills off Portstewart Beach N.IRE.
Peter

Mr.Percy 112 said...

At present, I have them growing in my usually waterlogged, and acidic lawn, set within a remote Forestry Commission village, in central Northumberland. Surely the very antithesis of their usual habitat?