Wild orchids in our garden

Lizard orchid - Himantoglossum hircinium

Unlike bee and spider orchids, lizard orchids, Himantoglossum hircinium, do not imitate females. I read somewhere that the flowers imitate rotting meat to attract flies. Can someone help me out on this one? In any case, the flowers are quite large, very peculiar and with a very distinctive smell (the French call them billy-goat orchids). They are vigorous and are quite at home in scrub.

As they are well established in what has become the front lawn, mowing in spring is a bit of an obstacle course. It is not always possible to miss the stems so we end up with quite a number of the common species the "chopped orchid" and the "crushed orchid".

Click the pictures to show them full size

Monkey orchid - Orchis simia

Wild orchids in our garden

Lady orchid - Orchis purpurea

From French cornfield to English garden

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The music is the Chopin Winter Wind Etude Op 25 No11 played by Robert Finley.