A Safe Refuge.

In a way it might seem incongruous that a graveyard would be a place of wonderful life but it is often the case. An eagle-eyed friend in our little orchid circle spotted some orchids growing in a churchyard close to where she lives and investigated further. As it turned out she had spotted a small population of Green-Winged Orchids – the “green wings” refer to the attractively lined upper petals which form a hood over the flower. I counted ten flowers there yesterday but she has seen more previously and they would undoubtedly have flowered this year but for an ill-advised visit by the lawnmower! She has since persuaded those who take care of the area to allow the orchids to grow and to mow to a schedule which would accommodate their life cycle. We will live in hope – and might even be tempted to prayer as it might prove more successful with the powers that be!

It might seem disproportionate to be excited and concerned about such a small group of wildflowers but when one considers that it is generally a scarce orchid in Ireland and that the next nearest population to this one is at least 30Km away, one might begin to appreciate just how precious these plants really are. They may well have found their only safe refuge in this area in this graveyard and for this they both need and deserve continued care and attention to ensure their survival.

An attractive pale pink form of the Green-winged orchid, Anacamptis morio.

There was also a small group of the more common Early Purple Orchid in the church grounds:

The amazing richness of wildflowers which arise when given the opportunity!

8 thoughts on “A Safe Refuge.

  1. Hopefully you can enjoy going back over the years and seeing the clumps thicken up and spread! It really is a distinguished flower, and I love how both orchids complement the other wildflowers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My friend, the discovered of these plants, has made repeated appeals to those who maintain the area and we live in hope that its upkeep may allow them to continue to grow there.

      Liked by 1 person

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