Common Spotted Orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsii)

The Common Spotted-Orchid gets this name because it is one of the most widespread of our native orchid species. Orchids are one of the largest plant families in the world, with approximately 25,000 different species. This type alone is said to have 30 different variations of which Kew Gardens have only officially recognised 7 on their Word Checklist of plants. So the Orchid family is big and still growing.

The leaves are usually, but not always, spotted and the flowers form into dense spikes from May to August to form an initially closed cluster. The flowers vary in colour from white to mauve and pink with amazing patterns of dots and lines on the lower lip which is divided into three parts.

Even the name ‘orchid’ seems a little exotic and mysterious, and they became so fashionable in the 19th century people would pay a lot of money to own one. The largest amount ever recorded for one plant was £1,500 in 1890, which is the equivalent of over £100,000 today! And we just happen to have them growing wild along our Greenway…

Photo Credit: Jonathan Clark, Victoria Park

Where to find it?

Our native orchids can be found in woods, roadsides and marshy areas but are very temperamental, flowering irregularly depending on the weather and sometimes spending years underground. We are currently finding them around the Greenway path in Victoria Park and hopefully appearing in our new wildflower areas in Dixon Park and Marsh-wiggle Way.

Be Part of it..

We were alerted that our orchids were out in bloom with some great pictures from Jonathan Clark so please keep letting us know what you spot when you’re out and about along the Greenway.