British native orchids, British orchids, Early-purple orchid, native orchids, Orchis mascula, Spring colour
The 2021 orchid season has begun!
In my local area, the first orchids to bloom are the Early-purples (Orchis mascula) and this week I was delighted to find them in two local areas, one a nature reserve, the other a woodland I regularly visit.
The Plantlife website notes that there is a legend the ‘Early Purple Orchid grew under Christ’s cross, and the leaves were splattered with the blood of Christ, have resulted in the names Gethesmane and cross flower.’
The website also lists some of this orchid’s other vernacular names: ‘adder’s meat, bloody butchers, red butchers, goosey ganders, kecklegs, kettle cases and kite’s legs’. Personally, I just call them beautiful!
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