Bee Orchid

Bee Orchid

The recent weather may not been the best for our visitors, but it has certainly been a good growing year for the plant species around the site. Both sides of the Country Park have a wealth of wild flowers to see, whether on the Butser Hill National Nature Reserve or in the Queen Elizabeth Forest.  

This time of year is flowering time for the many different types of Orchid that can be found at QECP. These are fascinating plants with some unusual characteristics;

Up to 10% of all plants which produce seed are Orchids, over 20,000 species.

The name Orchid comes from the Greek for ‘testicle’ due to the unusual shape of the plant’s root.

An Orchid can produce millions of seeds at a time. The reason that they are not more common is down to the fact that in order to germinate and complete their life cycle Orchids must enter in to a symbiotic relationship with a particular type of  fungi at just the right time. 

Common Spotted Orchid

Common Spotted Orchid

Vanilla, so essential for cooking and perfume around the world comes from the seed pods of an Orchid.   

There are regular walks during the season which are designed to bring people closer to the plants and wildlife at QECP. For more details see the Park Pages at www.hants.gov.uk/qecp  

Butterfly Orchid (image by J.Orchid)

Butterfly Orchid (image by J.Vardon)

  

Common Twayblade

White Helleborine