Green winged orchid

9th May 2010, Sunday

Another spring time orchid that grows in our area, the green winged orchid is in my experience harder to find than the early purple orchid, unless one goes to a protected grassland such as the meadows at Great Dixter, in Northiam, where they grow in large numbers.

Although superficially similar to the early purple orchid, the sepals that form the helmet of the flower bear several purple lines, and the leaves of the green winged orchid lack purple spots.  This plant is strongly associated with unimproved grasslands, whereas the early purple orchid can be found in grasslands and woodland.