The Ashton Court Estate was a familiar part of my childhood in and near Bristol. The Coronavirus lockdown seems to have made the vast, green, open space more popular than ever. It was a pleasure to see areas of the golf course roped off recently to support wildlife, while still supporting a host of outdoor activities.
The estate is well-known for its Green-winged Orchids, Anacamptis morio. These Orchids are not such a regular sight in the West as I remember in childhood. The Green-winged Orchids were going over during my visit. That did not dampen my spirits. I could see that they were being allowed the time and space to produce seed. They can potentially come back even stronger in future years. All too often, Orchids seem to get mown down or trampled in their prime.
Common Spotted Orchids
As a consolation, there were plenty of Common Spotted Orchids, Dactylorhiza fuchsii, just coming into flower. I lost count of how many buds and opening flowers I saw over a wide area. It may be the most common and widespread British Orchid, I nonetheless think that it is a beauty worth admiring.
Gallery of Common Spotted Orchid Images
All above photos: © Karen Andrews
References and Further Reading
- Brock, Alexander (2020): The unusual reason half of Ashton Court golf course has been closed off. Bristol Live. Bristolpost.co.uk. 16 June 2020.
- Cole, Sean & Waller, Mike (2020): Britain’s Orchids. A field guide to the orchids of Great Britain and Ireland. Botanical Society of Britain & Ireland. Princeton University Press.
- Harrap, Simon (2016): A Pocket Guide to the Orchids of Britain and Ireland. Bloomsbury. London.
- Mayor of Bristol (2021): Ashton Court. 22 February 2021
- Plantlife (?): Green-winged Orchid. Orchis morio.
- Visit Bristol (2021): Ashton Court Meadow Nature Reserve.
- Wildflowers and Native Orchids (2014): Green winged Orchids at Ashton Court Estate. Frampton Wildflowers Blog. 9 May 2014.
Karen does not seek or receive any commercial interest or advantage from this blog. She is not promoting any business venture. She simply loves to share fascinating facts about plants. These pages illustrate her love of plants, botany, biodiversity, gardens and creative expression. There is always so much to learn about plant diversity. This blog is designed as a showcase for photography, commentary on plants and wildlife, gardens and other places visited, horticulture and related topics. Viewpoints are her own, not those of her employer.
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