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Mark Long

Fly Orchids in North Wales

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A few of us joined local plant legend Nigel Brown for a trip around the Anglesey fens about a month ago. It was pelting it down with rain though, so I wasn't brave enough to get my camera out and just had my mobile phone to take a few photos. There were plenty of marsh orchids to be found, D. rotundifolia and P. vulgaris too, but it was the O. insectifera that stole the show! I went back to the site a few days later on a much brighter evening to take a few photos. 

 

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Thanks for sowhing the pictures. I never found O. insektifera at such wet place. Here in Germany they grew at dry grassland.

Harro

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Thanks for sowhing the pictures. I never found O. insektifera at such wet place. Here in Germany they grew at dry grassland.

Harro

I've never seen them anywhere else in the wild before but from what I can gather the other sites in the UK where they are mainly found are on chalk grassland, so much drier. Here on Anglesey they are growing in lime-rich mire, which is a pretty uncommon habitat to have. Most of the plants were growing on islands in very swampy ground, so we had to step carefully through the mud and water to get close to them.

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Thanks for sharing your pictures. The 4th picture looks really like Ophrys aymoninii, a species endemic to central France...

You're right, very similar indeed! I have no idea how variable the flowers on O. insectifera are, apparently there is a form in the area where we were looking where the flower is entirely yellow but we didn't see any of these.

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