Autumn Lady’s-Tresses

Lynchcombe from Cooks Fields - Mendip Hills, Somerset, UK. ID DSC_3386

Lynchcombe from Cooks Fields – Mendip Hills, Somerset, UK. ID DSC_3386

Next to Lynchcombe nature reserve is another brilliant Somerset Wildlife Trust reserve called Cooks Fields.  I walk through a corner of it every time I visit Lynchcombe.  In that corner is the tiny special plant autumn lady’s-tresses.

Autumn Lady’s-Tresses

This is a delicate orchid found in limestone grasslands.  Being only a few inches tall it only grows where the grass is short.  Its tiny white flowers form a spiral up its stem.

Autumn Ladys-tresses (Spiranthes spiralis) - Cooks Fields, Somerset, UK. ID 825_7793

Autumn Ladys-tresses (Spiranthes spiralis) – Cooks Fields, Somerset, UK. ID 825_7793

This spring the grass grew very tall in the wet weather.  But then the long summer heat wave dried it all up.  It thinned out and so these little orchids were out again in large numbers again.

Autumn Ladys-tresses (Spiranthes spiralis) - Cooks Fields, Somerset, UK. ID 825_7779

Autumn Ladys-tresses (Spiranthes spiralis) – Cooks Fields, Somerset, UK. ID 825_7779

I found this group of five flowers growing in a straight line – perfect to photograph these usual suspects.

Autumn Ladys-tresses (Spiranthes spiralis) - Cooks Fields, Somerset, UK. ID 825_7631

Autumn Ladys-tresses (Spiranthes spiralis) – Cooks Fields, Somerset, UK. ID 825_7631

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