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Burnt-tip Orchid

Orchis ustulata

Burnt-tip Orchid is a white orchid with a deep crimson peak – the “burnt tip” in question.

How to spot it

This small orchid can be difficult to spot. Plants grow from a tuber which is replaced each year and tend to grow in small clumps. Pale green leaves form a rosette from which a flower spike holding between 15-50 flowers emerges.

Where to spot it

Burnt-tip Orchid is confined to a scattering of sites in southern England, especially the Wiltshire Downs. It is found in short, chalk downland turf, and occasionally strays into meadows.

How’s it doing?

Burnt-tip Orchid was once more common and its scarce population continues to decline. This decline is due to changes in agricultural practices.

Things you might not know

  • Burnt-tip Orchid is the County Flower of Wiltshire, where the largest colonies can be found.
  • The flowers smell of honey but produce no nectar.
  • Ustulata comes from the Latin word ustulus which means ‘slightly burnt.’

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