Orchids at Cefn Ila

broad leaved helleborine rsz

An unexpected sighting in the walled garden this week was three flowering orchids, more specifically, Broad-leaved Helleborines. This is the commonest of the Helleborines, but is nevertheless rather local and it’s always a very good day if you happen to spot one. To be successfully pollinated the flowers need to be visited by specific wasps, and not just any wasps. The nectar can produce intoxicating ethanol, and this can have the effect of visiting wasps becoming slow and drowsy and they may even fall to the ground ‘drunk’. These flowering spikes are in the shady spot under the trees, just by the collapsed greenhouse and should be visible for the next couple of weeks.

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