Friday 24 June 2011

Mystery plant update

Way back in November, I posted about a mystifying appearance at Tense Towers, when a strange roseate of leaves was found growing in our lawn. Time has passed, Spring mowings have been extremely careful and now the mystery is conclusively solved.

A flower spike began in May and we watched patiently as white buds formed. There was a moment's consternation, when we woke up one morning to discover something had nipped out the lowest flower bud. But after defensive works were erected to deter Wood Pigeons (the usual suspects!), using chicken wire and most of a 2 litre drinks bottle, we relaxed and waited for the show.

We weren't to be disappointed, as earlier this month, the white buds opened to reveal a gorgeous Bee Orchid, Ophrys apifera. Bizarrely, so we learned, the bee that the flower has evolved to mimic, isn't native to the UK. So the British Bee Orchid is self-pollinating.

Fort Orchid


Phil said...

Magnificent specimen!

holdingmoments said...

Much better than daisies.

An exceptional find Graeme.

Katie (Nature ID) said...

Ha! The Admiral was correct. It's a very cool looking orchid.

Martin said...

So the Admiral was correct then!

Imperfect and Tense said...

Apologies, all, for the tardy response, but I have got a good excuse! Hopefully, I have some decent material for post or two (he said, mysteriously), though there's not much that can top a cracking orchid popping up in your garden.