You might be wondering what pyramids and bees have in common. Well, in this case, they’re both orchids: the Pyramidal orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalis) and the Bee orchid (Ophrys apifera), and I was very pleasantly surprised to see rather a lot of them, especially the Bees, during my most recent walk around Grangemoor Park.
With their classic triangular shape, Pyramidal orchids are easy to identify. They usually flower during June and July, and each flower spike can contain up to a hundred individual flowers. Interesting fact: the Pyramidal orchid is the county flower of the Isle of Wight.
Bee orchids are my favourite orchids. Their markings and furry texture may be intended to attract bumblebees (and the flowers also produce a female bee smell, apparently) but it’s their laughing ‘faces’ that enchant me and always make me smile. And the people of Bedfordshire made the perfect choice when they selected the Bee orchid as their county flower.