Towards the end of August I start to look out for this little orchid growing in the short grassland high up on the Mendip Hills.
Their name comes from their tiny flowers spiralling around a single stem that look like a lady’s plaited hair.
Another slender stem pushes up above the grass into the sunshine. They only have leaves in the winter and they are really hard to spot, and sadly all too easy to stand on.
We need to enjoy them while they are still with us. Their range is reducing year on year.
Judging the best time to look for them can be difficult. Some years they do not appear at all, saving their energy in the hope of better years to come.
The flowers bloom from the bottom to the top. So once the top ones are at their best the lower ones are over.
They like short grass, but even if they liked to grow in long grass I don’t think I would find them! So may be there are more around than we think.
Although it is hard to find one, once you do there is good chance others are growing near by.
They do not all grow straight.