9 Sep 2019

Autumn Ladies tresses - the last British orchid of the year

Gop Hill, site of an ancient burial mound, in N Wales is also home to the last of the UK's flowering orchids. The aptly named Autumn Ladies Tresses. This year the site has hosted thousands if not tens of thousands of flowering spikes so me and Mark P arranged to meet up after he'd finished work for the short trip into N Wales. It was literally 30 minutes a way from home!

Sure enough, as far as the eye could see, there were the flowering spikes of Autumn Ladies Tresses.

This tiny orchid is a specialist of nutrient poor calcareous soils and it was noticeable the plants were found on areas where the topsoil had eroded and moved further down the slope leaving a very thin layer with little competition from other plants. This is another species that is classed as near threatened and has disappeared from over 50% of its range in the UK.

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