Some similarities to :
Ghost Orchid which also lacks chlorophyll, but that has a greyish stem and very weakly tinted sepals and flowers, being faintly greenish and faintly purplish respectively.
Not to be semantically confused with :
Yellow Bird's-nest [a plant with similar name but which is not an orchid, but yet another saprophyte (or more correctly a myco-heterotroph)]. It is saprophytic on underground fungi for sustenance, possessing no photosynthetic chlorophyll to provide energy from sunlight.
Uniquely identifiable characteristics
Distinguishing Feature : The 'dead' look and the sickly fragrance enable it to be distinguished from Broomrapes (which have 3-lobed lips) rather than the 2-lobed lip of Bird's-nest Orchid)
No relation to :
Bird-in-a-Bush, Bird's-Foot, Bird's-Foot-Trefoil nor to Bird Cherry.
Habitat is woods especially those of
Beech and yew on chalky soils, in deep shade. Sometimes grows with another 'saprophyte' and similar sounding plant,
Yellow Bird's-nest (Hypopitys monotropa) (aka Monotropa hypopitys whichever takes your fancy), which is not an orchid. Also grows in mixed broad-leaved woodland and in
Hazel coppices and always where there is a deep overlay of leaf humus. Avoids conifers and often grows on calcareous soils.
Flowers end of April to the beginning of July. It is in the same Genus as are two Twayblades : Common Twayblade (Neottia ovata) and
Lesser Twayblade (Neottia nidus-avis)
It acquires its name from the root system, which resembles a bird's nest of twisted and tangled sticks.
The plant is reported to smell sickly or of honey, as well as being the colour of honey. It has but 2 leaves.