Friday 27 June 2008

Amazing orchids

They are the most fascinating, the sexiest flowers in the world. Lovely, pouting prima donnas with very special requirements.

Four species of orchids grow on a small patch of grassland right here in my parish. All four are in flower right now.

They are: Common spotted orchid,(dactylorhiza fuchsii)

Bee orchid, (ophrys apifera)

Pyramidal orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalis)

and Twayblade (Listera ovata)

This patch of land is part of the grounds surrounding the Catholic church and National School in Mount Merrion. It is carefully maintained by wild-life conscious citizens. Every year in late June an Orchid Walk is held to share with the general public the extraordinary beauty and diversity of limestone grassland: this one little plot surviving in the midst of a suburban wasteland of ryegrass and ornamentals and noxious weeds.

Species-diverse grassland is one of the most colourful and beautiful of all our ecosystems.
Self-heal, bird's-foot trefoil, oxeye daisy, knapweed, white and red clover, hawkweeds, fairy flax, - the list goes on. My heart lifts up when I spot a patch of it. Long may it last!

No comments: