Flowering in May and June, the green-winged orchid (Anacamptis morio) is classified as Near Threatened on the Vascular Plant Red Data List for Great Britain.
Taking its name from the green veins in the ‘hood’ formed by its sepals, it is part of the orchid family, Orchidaceae.
Pollinated by bumblebees, Anacamptis morio flower spikes come in a variety of colours: purple, magenta, violet, pinkish/mauve and sometimes white.
Aside from the telltale green veins, green-winged orchids can also be recognised by their leaves, which don’t have spots. These orchids are found in short, unimproved grassland areas.
Green-winged orchids at Golden Cap
Between Eype and Lyme Regis lies Westhay Farm, on the Golden Cap Estate. In the care of the National Trust, this area is managed via an organic tenancy agreement.
At this time of year, the Farm’s hay meadows are carpeted with an abundance of buttercups and coarse grasses. Nestled throughout are multiple green-winged orchids (Anacamptis morio), their vibrant flower spikes emerging as if to say “hello.”