Orchids of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight

Autumn Lady's Tresses

Autumn Lady's Tresses

Autumn Lady's Tresses at Ipley Cross-roads in the New Forest on August 21 2001

Autumn Lady's Tresses

Autumn Lady's Tresses

This photo was taken on the lawn of the old Officer's Mess at the Royal Victoria Country Park in Weston on 4 September 2001.

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Birdsnest Orchid

Birdsnest Orchid

Usually found in Beech woodlands, these photos were taken at Galley Down (near Bishops Waltham) on 20 May 2001

Birdsnest Orchid

Birdsnest Orchid

20 May 2001

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Bog Orchid

Bog Orchid

This orchid is very small (usually not more than 3 inches tall) and as it's name suggests, is found in bogs. These photos were taken in Matley Bog in the New Forest on July 19 2002.

Bog Orchid

Bog Orchid

19 July 2002

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Broad-leaved Helleborine

Broad-leaved Helleborine

Grows on shady verges to a height of 24 inches. The first two photos were taken at Porton Down on 30 July 2000.

Broad-leaved Helleborine

Broad-leaved Helleborine

30 July 2000

Broad-leaved Helleborine

Broad-leaved Helleborine

This photo was taken at the Rownhams Service Station on the M27 on 16 July 2001

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Burnt Orchid

Burnt Orchid

Usually not taller than 5 inches, and grows in chalk downland. This photo was taken at Martin Down (Hants) on 4 June 2000

Burnt Orchid

Burnt Orchid

Martin Down 4 June 2000

Burnt Orchid

Burnt Orchid

4 June 2000

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Common Spotted Orchid

Common Spotted Orchid

Aptly named! It grows up to 15 inches tall, and can appear in a range of colours from deep pink to white. The first two photos were taken in Bentley Wood (the Hampshire section!)on 6 June 2001

Common Spotted Orchid

Common Spotted Orchid

10 June 2001

Common Spotted Orchid

Common Spotted Orchid

A white specimen! Butser Hill 24 June 2002

Common Spotted Orchid

Common Spotted Orchid

Photo taken at Martin Down on 20 June 2002

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Bee Orchid

Bee Orchid

Grows to 15 inches high sometimes, usually nearer 9 inches. These first three photos were taken at Holmsley in the New Forest on 10 June 2002.

Bee Orchid

Bee Orchid

10 June 2002

Bee Orchid

Bee Orchid

As can be seen in this photo, flower shapes can vary, even on the same plant. The plant on the right bears two different flowers, which are shown in more detail in the two preceding pictures. 10 June 2002

Bee Orchid

Bee Orchid

Not only the flower shape can vary, but also the colour. These white plants were photographed on the Isle of White at Garston Down.

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Butterfly Orchids - Greater

Butterfly Orchids - Greater

This is a tall & sturdy orchid, reaching up to 24". It grows mainly on chalk, both grassy & woodland habitats.
This photo was taken at Martin Down (Hampshire part!)on 4 June 2000.

Butterfly Orchids - Greater

Butterfly Orchids - Greater

This one was photographed at Martin Down on 10 June 2001

Butterfly Orchids - Greater

Butterfly Orchids - Greater

and this one was at Yew Hill on 10 June 2002. This photo clearly shows how the 'column' is bell-shaped and gets progressively wider (compare with lesser butterfly orchid below).

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Butterfly Orchids - Lesser

Butterfly Orchids - Lesser

This is smaller and more delicate than the Greater and grows on more acid soils on heaths, among heather and bracken. This photo was taken by Wilverley Woods in the New Forest on 10 June 2002.

Butterfly Orchids - Lesser

Butterfly Orchids - Lesser

This is a close-up of the above plant.

Butterfly Orchids - Lesser

Butterfly Orchids - Lesser

In this photo you can see that the column is narrow and the sides are narrow...a diagnostic identification for the 'lesser'. It was taken again at Wilverley on 28 June 2003.

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Early Purple Orchid

Early Purple Orchid

This is one of Britains earliest flowering orchids, usually the first to flower in Hampshire. It is widespread & grows mainly on chalk downland and woods. This photo was taken in Whiteley Woods on 8 May 2001.

Early Purple Orchid

Early Purple Orchid

This one was taken in Sowley Brooms in the New Forest on 3 May 2002. It can be seen in a wide range of colours.

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Fly Orchid

Fly Orchid

So named because it resembles a fly perched on a green leaf. It grows on chalk grasslands and woodlands. This photo was taken at Old Burghclere Lime Pits on 14 May 2002.

Fly Orchid

Fly Orchid

This photo was taken at Galley Down on 20 May 2001.

Fly Orchid

Fly Orchid

This photo shows a rare aberration, which was taken at Echinswell on 15 May 2003.

Fly Orchid

Fly Orchid

This is a close-up of the above flower.

Fly Orchid

Fly Orchid

and this is another unusual, very wide-bodied, flower at the same site as the above.

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Fragrant Orchid

Fragrant Orchid

This is a delicate, perfumed orchid, 8" to 12" tall. It varies in colour from deep pink to white, and can be seen in vast numbers on chalk downs. This photo was taken at Broughton Down on 11 June 2001.

Fragrant Orchid

Fragrant Orchid

Taken the same day as the one above, this shows a paler pink flower.

Fragrant Orchid

Fragrant Orchid

...and another, this is nearly white.

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Fragrant Orchid - Marsh

Fragrant Orchid - Marsh

This is a larger plant than the Fragrant, with longer, darker, flower spike. This was taken at Mapledurwell Fen, near Basingstoke on 24 July 2001.

Fragrant Orchid - Marsh

Fragrant Orchid - Marsh

Close-up view of above.

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Fragrant Orchid - Northern

Fragrant Orchid - Northern

This usually grows in Northern England in wet, boggy grassland. This photo was taken in the New Forest at Tiptoe on 1 July 2003.

Fragrant Orchid - Northern

Fragrant Orchid - Northern

A closer view of the above.

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Frog Orchid

Frog Orchid

This is a small (2"-6"), inconspicuous orchid which grows in short, chalk, grassland. It is more common in Northern Britain. This photo was taken at Broughton Down on 20 July 2001.

Frog Orchid

Frog Orchid

This photo was taken at Noar Hill on 11 July 2003.

Frog Orchid

Frog Orchid

Also taken on 11 July 2003. The flower on the right demonstrates how the plant got its name...it is supposed to look like a leaping frog, with its legs trailing!!!

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Green-winged Orchid

Green-winged Orchid

This grows in grassland, and varies in height from 2" to 12". It is smaller than the Early Purple (above), with unspotted leaves. This photo was taken at Martin Down on 9 May 2003.

Green-winged Orchid

Green-winged Orchid

It can be seen in a wide range of colours from deep mauve to pale pink. It always has green striping on the wings (sepals). This photo was taken in the Glebe Field at Curdridge on 16 May 2003.

Green-winged Orchid

Green-winged Orchid

Also taken at the Glebe Field on 20 May 2001.

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Green-flowered Helleborine

Green-flowered Helleborine

Also known as the Drooping, or Pendulous-flowered Helleborine. This photo shows how it gets its name and was taken at Eelmoor Marsh, Farnborough on 24 July 2003.

Green-flowered Helleborine

Green-flowered Helleborine

It grows from 6" to 18" in deciduous woods and hedgerows on damp, base-rich soils. This photo was taken at the same time as the above.

Green-flowered Helleborine

Green-flowered Helleborine

This photo was taken near Bullington Cross (off the A343) on 3 August 2001.

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Early Marsh Orchid

Early Marsh Orchid

This orchid has the widest range of colours of any British orchid, from white to bright magenta. Its height is from 12" to 15".

Early Marsh Orchid

Early Marsh Orchid

There is a whole family of marsh orchids (see some more later in this presentation), and hybridisation between them is common. All four photos of the early marsh were taken in the New Forest at Marchwood on 13 June 2001.

Early Marsh Orchid

Early Marsh Orchid

This is an example of a white speciman, which is quite common at this site.

Early Marsh Orchid

Early Marsh Orchid

This is a close-up of the same plant.

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Narrow-leaved Marsh Orchid

Narrow-leaved Marsh Orchid

This orchid differs from the other marsh orchids by having narrow, sword-like leaves. This photograph was taken at Mapledurwell Fen, near Basingstoke on 24 July 2001.

Narrow-leaved Marsh Orchid

Narrow-leaved Marsh Orchid

This close-up was taken at the same site. Note the Marmalade Fly (Episyrphus barteatus) on the flower.

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Southern Marsh Orchid

Southern Marsh Orchid

Also known as the Common Marsh Orchid, it is larger and more robust than the other marsh orchids. It has broad, dark green, unspotted leaves and spikes of large rose, magenta or pale magenta flowers. This photo was taken on 5 July 2002.

Southern Marsh Orchid

Southern Marsh Orchid

This, and the next photo, were taken at Holmsley on 10 June 2002.

Southern Marsh Orchid

Southern Marsh Orchid

10 June 2002.

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Marsh Helleborine

Marsh Helleborine

In my opinion this is the lovliest of the helleborines, growing from 9" to 18" in marshy or wet places in longish grass or light scrub. This photo was taken at Mapledurwell Fen near Basingstoke on 24 July 2001.

Marsh Helleborine

Marsh Helleborine

It reproduces by means of creeping rhizomes, so a single plant can cover a wide area in flowers. This photo was taken at Tiptoe in the New Forest on 16 July 2001.

Marsh Helleborine

Marsh Helleborine

Mapledurwell fen again on 24 July 2001.

Marsh Helleborine

Marsh Helleborine

Tiptoe again, 16 July 2001.

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Musk Orchid

Musk Orchid

This is a small (2"-6") orchid, which grows in its many thousand at Noar Hill. The petals and sepals do not spread out, so it is a fairly undistinguished plant.

Musk Orchid

Musk Orchid

All three of the photos of this orchid were taken at Noar Hill, Selbourne on 12 July 2001

Musk Orchid

Musk Orchid

Can also be seen at Ham Hill in Berkshire

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Narrow-leaved Helleborine

Narrow-leaved Helleborine

This is the first of the helleborines to flower, and its main stronghold in Hampshire is Chappetts Copse. This photo was taken on 12 May 2000.

Narrow-leaved Helleborine

Narrow-leaved Helleborine

It is also known as the sword-leaved helleborine. This on was taken at Chappetts Copse on 20 May 2001.

Narrow-leaved Helleborine

Narrow-leaved Helleborine

Chappetts Copse again, 16 May 2003.

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Pyramidal Orchid

Pyramidal Orchid

This can grow up to 24" tall, but is usually 12"-18". In its early stages it is a distinct pyramid shape, and is usually a clear pink...but see exceptions below! Photo 7 July 2000 at Noar Hill.

Pyramidal Orchid

Pyramidal Orchid

It is widespread on limy soils and is a characteristic plant of chalk downland, in open grass or light shade. Photo from Broughton Down 16 June 2000

Pyramidal Orchid

Pyramidal Orchid

Noar Hill again, 12 July 2001.

Pyramidal Orchid

Pyramidal Orchid

This is a very unusual aberration, and was photographed at Magdalen Hill Down, Winchester on 10 July 2002.

Pyramidal Orchid

Pyramidal Orchid

Close-up of above plant.

Pyramidal Orchid

Pyramidal Orchid

As hinted above, there are rare exceptions to the usual pink colouring. This white one was photographed in Somerset (I have not yet seen similar in Hampshire!).

Pyramidal Orchid

Pyramidal Orchid

Close-up of the above plant.

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Red Helleborine

Red Helleborine

This is a very rare plant, and we are lucky to have a site in Hampshire. All photos were taken at Hawkley Warren, this on on 29 June 2003.

Red Helleborine

Red Helleborine

They grow from 8" to 15" tall. This photo was taken on 11 July 2003.

Red Helleborine

Red Helleborine

11 July 2003 again!

Red Helleborine

Red Helleborine

...and 29 June 2003 again.

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Heath Spotted Orchid

Heath Spotted Orchid

This orchid grows on heaths and moorlands and is very common in the New Forest, in dry, and reasonably damp habitats. It grows from 8" to 18" tall. Photo New Forest, Holmsley 10 June 2002.

Heath Spotted Orchid

Heath Spotted Orchid

It can be distinguished from the common spotted orchid by the shape of its lip, which is very broad, with all three lobes more or less level, and only small indentations between them. Photo Marchwood area of the New Forest 13 June 2001.

Heath Spotted Orchid

Heath Spotted Orchid

Where found, it usually appears in large numbers. Another Holmsley photo, this time 28 June 2003.

Heath Spotted Orchid

Heath Spotted Orchid

An example of a white plant taken in the New Forest at Tiptoe on 20 June 2002.

Heath Spotted Orchid

Heath Spotted Orchid

Close-up of the above plant.

Heath Spotted Orchid

Heath Spotted Orchid

This is another example of aberrations in orchids. Despite its appearance, this is a heath spotted. It lacks any colouring and is mishapen. Holmsley again, 28 June 2003.

Heath Spotted Orchid

Heath Spotted Orchid

Close-up view of the above plant.

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Common Twayblade

Common Twayblade

This is one of the commonest and widespread of orchids and grows to 15" to 18". This photo was taken at Echinswell on 15 May 2003.

Common Twayblade

Common Twayblade

It is more common on limy soils, but can be found on all soil types, both in the open and in the shade. Photo Exton Lane 20 May 2001.

Common Twayblade

Common Twayblade

It is quite common on Martin Down, but in recent years the flower heads have been eaten off (presumably by sheep). This photo was taken in Old Burghclere Lime Pits on 14 May 2002.

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Violet Helleborine

Violet Helleborine

This is one of the last helleborines to flower. It grows 12" to 24" tall in highly shaded areas of beech and hazel. Photo at Old Railway Line, Funtley 8 August 2001.

Violet Helleborine

Violet Helleborine

The stems are greenish/purple and frequently clustered. Photo again at Funtley on 8 August 2001.

Violet Helleborine

Violet Helleborine

The flower has yellowish/green sepals & petals and a pale green lip with pinkish/purple tinting. Funtley again, this time 3 August 2003.

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White Helleborine

White Helleborine

This is quite similar to the narrow-leaved helleborine shown earlier in this list, but has broad leaves and grows under beech trees. This photo was taken at Old Burghclere Lime Pits on 14 May 2002.

White Helleborine

White Helleborine

Where it is found, there are often fly and birdsnest orchids also in bloom. It grows from 6" to 15" tall. This photo was taken at Echinswell on 24 May 2003.

White Helleborine

White Helleborine

This photo shows the flower nearly fully open. Most often the flowers barely open at all. This photo again at Echinswell, but Galley Down near Bishops Waltham is a very prolific site.

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All pictures
© Peter Burford


All pictures
© Peter Burford