Green-winged Orchid

©Mark Hamblin/2020VISION

Green-winged Orchid

©Mark Hamblin/2020VISION

Green-winged Orchid (white form)

©Guy Edwardes/2020VISION

Green-winged Orchid

Scientific name: Anacamptis morio
A short, but pretty plant of unimproved grasslands, the Green-winged Orchid gets its name from the green veins in the 'hood' of its flowers. Look for it in May and June.

Species information

Statistics

Height: 7-15cm

Conservation status

Classified as Near Threatened on the Vascular Plant Red Data List for Great Britain.

When to see

May to June

About

The Green-winged Orchid is a short orchid of unimproved grasslands, mainly on chalky soils, although it can be spotted on banks, village greens and even in churchyards. It flowers in May or June; the flower spike carries a cluster of pinky-purple flowers (sometimes white) that give this orchid its name - the hood formed by the sepals is lined with green veins. Green-winged Orchids are pollinated by bumblebees.

How to identify

The three-lobed, pink or purple flowers of the Green-winged Orchid cluster around a single spike. The 'hood' of the flowers is formed by the sepals and is lined with green veins. The leaves are narrow and pointed, and do not have spots.

Distribution

Widespread in England and Wales.

Did you know?

Orchids seeds do not contain enough energy in the form of food reserves to germinate on their own and have to form a partnership with mycorrhizal fungus to grow. The loss of these fungi through cultivation or application of artificial fertilisers and herbicides explains why these orchids are generally only found in unimproved grasslands.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts look after many meadow habitats using traditional methods, such as hay-cutting, reseeding and grazing, for the benefit of local wildlife. We are also working closely with farmers and landowners to promote wildlife-friendly practices in these areas. You can help too: volunteer for your local Wildlife Trust and you could be involved in everything from stockwatching to surveying meadow flowers.