Green-winged orchid Orchis morio

Status Amber - Vulnerable and Near-Threatened
Best Time to See May
Colour Purple, Green
Habitat Grassland

The harlequin of orchids, it flowers in meadows in late spring.

Its Latin name, morio, means 'fool' and refers to the jester-like motley of its green and purple flowers.

It can sometimes be confused with the early-purple orchid - the difference is in the leaves, which are not spotted, and the sepals which have green veins.

Green-winged orchid was chosen as the County Flower of Ayrshire. It can also be seen growing at our Joan's Hill Farm Reserve in Herefordshire.


Widespread in most of England but has become scarce in the south-west. It is also less common in the north of England. It is well known on the Welsh coast and can be found in one small area on the west coast of Scotland.



Best time to see

When it flowers in May.


It is classified as Near-Threatened.

Did you know?

The green-winged orchid has many names in Scotland, suggesting a lively folklore: hen's kames (combs), bull's bags, dog's dubbles, keet legs and deid man's thoombs!