9 September 2015

Autumn Ladies-tresses on Epsom Downs: 9 September

A tweet from Steve Gale about 2,000 spikes of Autumn Ladies-tresses Spiranthes spiralis orchids on a roadside verge just 6.5 km from my home was too much for me to ignore, so Rachel and I drove along to take look this morning. I didn't bother counting them - there was a lot, and they were an amazing sight right beside a busy road.

Autumn Ladies-tresses is distributed throughout southern England, Wales and Ireland, though is most common in the south. A species of short grass, it has declined due to loss of habitat and and is now categorised as Near-threatened in Britain.

They are the latest flowering orchid in Britain and many were starting to go over, but a few were still fresh. Many thanks to Steve for the directions.

Autumn Ladies-tresses Spiranthes spiralis orchids, Epsom Downs, 9 September 2015

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