Sunday, March 26, 2017

Orchids blooming in the Spring.

Anacamptis pyramidalis is practically present on the whole island. At the beginning of summer, it often makes large colonies in meadows.

Its red-violet spike, conical at blooming, is quite distinctive. Flowers are numerous, close to each other showing a three-lobed lip and bearing some small lamellum-shaped excrescences at base. These lamellae are useful in guiding the proboscis of pollinating butterflies. 

According to the wikipedia this orchid is especially common on the Isle of Wight  and was designated the county plant in 2008. In Menorca is quite common too.

The dried and ground tuber gives a fine white powder, called salep. This is a very nutritious sweet starchlike substance. It is used in drinks, cereals and in making bread. It is also used medicinally in diets for children and convalescents.

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