The sight of a group of Orchis purpurea (Lady orchid / Bruine orchis) in a woodland glade in the early days of May is always a delight. In the south of Belgium there are a few places where this stately orchid can be found in calcareaous grassland. It is a rather large species with spikes of about 50 cm tall. It is one of the 'manikin' orchids, and the flowers form a miniature human figure. The petals and sepals form a dark 'bonnet'. The lip itself is devided into several lobes to form the "arms" and the "skirt" of a lady...
In the bud, the lip is always placed at the top. While opening, the flower has to turn upside down to place the lip at the bottom of the flower in order to provide a landing place for insects. This proces is called "resupination" and can be seen in this picture where the uppermost flowers are not fully resupinated yet .
Image: Rochefort (B) 16/5/2010
© Johan Dierckx
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All species are photographed in their natural habitat, without cutting or capturing them, and with maximal respect and the least possible disturbance to the environment.
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