Wildlife to Visit of the Family Orchidaceae

Bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta )
Bluebell woods.
Carpet of Bluebells. © Angie Muldowney cc
Bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta )
Bluebell woods.
Carpet of Bluebells. © Angie Muldowney cc

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There are 27 wildlife species pictured below. Some species can only be seen during certain months. Wildlife that has been observed at this time of year are shown first preceeded by a green bar. Wildlife that can be seen at a different time of year is show last preceeded by a blue bar.

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Common Spotted Orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsii) Early July to late August.
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Family: Orchidaceae (Orchids)

Habitat: Gardens and parks, marsh, meadows, woodland, sand dunes and hedgerows.

Size: Height 15 to 60 cm.

Flowering Period: Early July to late August.

Very variable plant height andflower colour, morphology and scent.

The flower colour varies from white to pale purple with purple spots, a symmetrical pattern of dark purple loops or dots and dashes.

Common Spotted Orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsii) © MTM arr
Heath Spotted Orchid (Dactylorhiza maculata) Early May to late August.
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Family: Orchidaceae (Orchids)

Habitat: Meadows, grassland, woodland, heathland, lowland dry acid grassland and rivers and streams.

Size: Height 15-70 centimetres (5.9-27.5 in).

Flowering Period: Early May to late August.

The flowers are pollinated by insects, especially bumblebees.

Heath Spotted Orchid (Dactylorhiza maculata) © Jörg Hempel cc
Northern Marsh Orchid (Dactylorhiza purpurella) All year round.
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Family: Orchidaceae (Orchids)

Habitat: Marshy fields, road verges, lake margins, fens, marshes, flushes, coastal cliffs, dune slacks, peat bogs and open woodland.

Flowering Period: All year round.

IUCN Conservation Status: Not Evaluated

A native British orchid that requires damp calcareous, neutral or slightly acid soils.

Northern Marsh Orchid (Dactylorhiza purpurella) © S Rae cc
Autumn Lady's-tresses (Spiranthes spiralis) Early August to late September.
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Family: Orchidaceae (Orchids)

Habitat: Coastal, grassland, gardens and parks, lakes and reservoirs, sand dunes, lowland calcareous grassland and rivers and streams.

Size: Height 10-15 cm (4-6 in).

Pollinator: Bumblebees.

Scent: Almonds.

Flowering Period: Early August to late September.

Autumn Lady's-tresses (Spiranthes spiralis) © Björn S... cc
Broad-leaved Helleborine (Epipactis helleborine) Early July to late September.
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Family: Orchidaceae (Orchids)

Habitat: Woodland, grassland, gardens and parks and hedgerows.

Size: Height 25-80 centimetres (10-31 in).

Pollinator: Wasps particularly long-headed species of the genus dolicho-vespula.

Scent: Honey.

Flowering Period: Early July to late September.

Named after its broad leaves near the ground. It particularly likes to be near beech trees.

Broad-leaved Helleborine (Epipactis helleborine) © Gail Hampshire cc
Burnt Orchid or Burnt-tip Orchid (Neotinea ustulata) Early May to late August.
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Family: Orchidaceae (Orchids)

Habitat: Grassland, meadows, woodland, lowland calcareous grassland and upland calcareous grassland.

Size: Height 10-28 cm (4-11 in).

Pollinator: Flies.

Scent: Custard or vanilla.

Flowering Period: Early May to late August. May to June (var. ustulata). June to August (var. aestivalis).

With the dense-flowered orchid, the only members of genus Neotinea.


Burnt Orchid or Burnt-tip Orchid (Neotinea ustulata) © David Evans
Violet Helleborine (Epipactis purpurata) Early June to late September.
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Family: Orchidaceae (Orchids)

Habitat: Woodland, gardens and parks and hedgerows.

Size: Height 20-70 centimetres (7.9-28 in).

Pollinator: Wasps.

Scent: Faint

Flowering Period: Early June to late September.

A long-lived species with some multi-stemmed plants thought to be hundreds of years old.

The nectar has a narcotic effect.

Violet Helleborine (Epipactis purpurata) © Björn S... cc
Marsh Helleborine (Epipactis palustris) Early June to late August.
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Family: Orchidaceae (Orchids)

Habitat: Heathland, wetlands, sand dunes and sea cliffs.

Size: Height 10-80 cm (4-31 in).

Pollinator: Self and insects.

Scent: None.

Flowering Period: Early June to late August.

Fulfils some of its nitrogen requirements from a fungus.

Marsh Helleborine (Epipactis palustris) © Björn S... cc
Green-flowered Helleborine (Epipactis phyllanthes) Early June to late September.
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Family: Orchidaceae (Orchids)

Habitat: Woodland, gardens and parks, grassland, sand dunes, hedgerows and lowland calcareous grassland.

Size: Height 5-75 cm (2-30 in).

Pollinator: Self pollinated.

Flowering Period: Early June to late September.

Named after the colour of its flowers.

Green-flowered Helleborine (Epipactis phyllanthes) © Rictor Norton and David Allen cc
Musk Orchid (Herminium monorchis) Early June to late August.
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Family: Orchidaceae (Orchids)

Habitat: Lowland calcareous grassland.

Size: Height 3.5-15 cm (1.4-6 in).

Pollinator: A variety of small insects.

Scent: Honey.

Flowering Period: Early June to late August.

Should be called the honey orchid as contrary to its name it smells of honey.

Musk Orchid (Herminium monorchis) © David Evans cc
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