PYRAMIDAL ORCHID

Anacamptis pyramidalis

Formerly: Orchis pyramidalis
Orchid Family [Orchidaceae]  

month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8Aug

status
statusZnative
flower
flower8bicolour
flower
flower8purple
inner
inner8white
morph
morph8zygo
petals
petalsZ2
type
typeZglobed
type
typeZspiked
type
typeZspurred
stem
stem8round

18th May 2009, St Julien d'Eymet, Dordogne.
Photo: © Christine Shield
A robust colonist growing between 10 to 60cm tall.


10th June 2012, Sandwich, Kent Photo: © Barney Case
Showing the typical pyramidal shape of the as yet mostly un-opened flower-head with a spike of 50 - 100 flowers.


18th May 2009, St Julien d'Eymet, Dordogne. Photo: © Christine Shield
Partially opened. Flowers usually pink, but specimens near the sea are much deeper coloured.


28th June 2005, Great Orme, North Wales Photo: © RWD
But some flower heads appear more spherical or globular. The lip of the flower is very variable in shape, but has three roughly similar lobes, the two side=lobes angled at about 60° away from the middle lobe.


2nd July 2009, drift line, Southport, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
They may later elongate into a more cylindrical shape when they become more like those of Fragrant-Orchid. However, Pyramidal Orchid has but a faint smell.


2nd July 2009, drift line, Southport, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Bird-s-eye view; a dense all-round proliferation of flowers.


28th June 2005, Great Orme, North Wales Photo: © RWD
Another ball and stick representation.


28th June 2005, Great Orme, North Wales Photo: © RWD
The ovary supporting the floret is reddish-brown, short and thin, a little like a stool leg.


28th June 2005, Great Orme, North Wales Photo: © RWD


11th July 2011, Aston, Clinton, Bucks. Photo: © Phil And Ann Farrer
White-flowered specimens are rare


2nd July 2009, drift line, Southport, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The dorsal sepal and upper petals form a smaller tight hood.


Not to be semantically confused with : Pyramidal Bugle (Ajuga pyramidalis) which also has flowers with three downwardly-directed lobes, but they are blue/white.

Some similarities to : Fragrant-Orchid (Gymnadenia conopsea) which also has three pinkish downwardly-directed lobes, but they are fragrant, and the flower spike is much longer.

Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature :

Distinguishing Feature: Compared to other orchids, Pyramidal Orchid has a rather short flower head, which sometimes resembles an upturned cone, but as all examples here show, is much more like a ball on a stick.

Sometimes the lower lip is not split up into three distinct lobes, but rather very shallow lobes, the whole lip resembling a skirt. This describes the variation var. emarginata first found in East Sussex in 1974 since found in Hampshire and in Ireland.

Grows in well-drained chalky/limestone soils such as chalk downs, limestone cliffs, limestone pavements, sea-side golf courses, and dune slacks.


  Anacamptis pyramidalis  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Orchidaceae  

Distribution
family8Orchid family8Orchidacaea

 BSBI maps
genus8Anacamptis
Anacamptis
(Pyramidal Orchids)

PYRAMIDAL ORCHID

Anacamptis pyramidalis

Formerly: Orchis pyramidalis
Orchid Family [Orchidaceae]  

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