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June 23rd-Bryn Euryn

160605-BEFL-First Pyramidal Orchid 1

5/6/16 – Pyramidal Orchid – first sighting of 2016

I photographed my first sighting of a Pyramidal Orchid on June 5th, where it was growing through a complimentary patch of Common Rockroses. Since then they have come on apace and there are many more showing their beautiful heads amongst the long grass that fringes the summit of the Bryn.

July 3rd

Ten days later the rush of blooms had slowed and whilst there were still a good number to be found, they are more scattered and most significantly smaller than the earlier ones were.

160623-Bryn Euryn-Orchids in long grass

23/6/16-Bryn Euryn-Pyramidal Orchids in long grass

160623-Bryn Euryn-46-Pyramidal Orchid in landscape

23/6/16-Bryn Euryn-Pyramidal Orchid in the wider landscape

Pyramidal OrchidAnacampsis pyramidalis; Welsh – Teigeirian bera

This orchid may be found flowering from early June through to early August, but here it is definitely at its peak now and flowering abundantly.

In general, the Pyramidal Orchid is found on grassland, usually on lime or chalk, but also on dunes. It is locally common in most of Britain, but rare in Scotland.


23/6/16-Pyramidal Orchid-Bryn Euryn

23/6/16-Pyramidal Orchid-Bryn Euryn

160623-Bryn Euryn-55-Pyramidal Orchid

Pyramidal Orchid

The plant is so-named for the shape of the flowerhead: a workaday name for such an exotic-looking bloom I think, although it does help to distinguish it from the Fragrant Orchid, with which it may be confused.

The plant’s success and abundance may be due to its relationship with insects. Each flower has a long thread-like spur that holds a generous supply of nectar that attracts day and night flying butterflies and moths. When the nectar is accessed, modified stamens stick to the tongue of the insect that straighten during the insect’s flight and are then pushed directly onto the stigma of the next flower visited. This results in viable seeds being produced in 95% of the flowers.

Crossing the hill’s summit and walking through the ‘downland’ area, more Orchids are blooming prolifically, these being Common Spotted Orchids.

160623-46-Orchids in long grass among young trees

Common Spotted Orchids -Bryn Euryn-Little Orme in background

Common Spotted Orchids -Bryn Euryn-Little Orme in background

160623-55-Common Spotted Orchid 1

Flower spikes of plants on Bryn Euryn vary in colour. Most are this lilac-purple colour, others are white with a few in shades between.

Common Spotted Orchid Dactylorhiza fuchsii; Welsh Teigeiren Brych

The flowers vary from white to pale or dark purple and are patterned with dots or small blotches of a darker purple.

The leaves are narrow and usually dark-spotted.


160703-Bryn Euryn-Common Spotted Orchid

3/7/16-Bryn Euryn-Common Spotted Orchid in long grass amidst Common Rockrose