Monday, May 30, 2005

Wild orchids in Scotland?

Jenn is on her way to Scotland for a couple of weeks, so I thought I would look into that status of wild orchids in Scotland, in case she has time to go on a bit of an orchid hunt.

I found some information about a demolition site in Thornton, Fife (formerly Rothes Colliery), which apparently contains many species of wild orchids:

"As for the orchids, Blank Frank has tentatively identified the following species - Northern Marsh, Early Marsh, Heath Spotted and Common Spotted. There are also many which defied identification, but which are probably hybrids - orchids are inclined to do this, apparently." More informaiton here. Includes some photos of wild orchids to be found at the site, as well as a map to the site's location. The orchids are apparently in bloom from early June to July, so the timing is perfect! However, a couple comments on the site alude to the fact that new construction on the site might already have taken place.

I also found a bibliograpy of relevant books compiled by the UK Hardy Orchid Society, including:

Allen, Brian and Woods, Patrick. Wild Orchids of Scotland. HMSO, 1993.(ISBN 0 11 494246 3)

This book is described as "the definitive work on Scottish orchids, lavishly illustrated with photographs by Sidney Clarke". There is also a companion field key to go along with this title, published the same year by the same authors with ISBN 0 11 495105 5.

Finally, a gallery of British wildflowers including Orchids. While not specific to Scotland, some of them might be found in Scotland? According to the site, "there are 49 species of British orchids. Some are relatively common - the Common Spotted Orchid can be found in most British counties - whilst others, such as the Lady's Slipper orchid or the Monkey Orchid, can only be found in one or two counties (and then only in single locations)."

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