Fen orchid Liparis loeselii

Status Red - Endangered & Critically Endangered
Best Time to See June, July
Colour Yellow
Habitat Wetland

One of our rarer plants, its pretty pale yellow flowers liven up our wetlands.

The leaves wrap around the bottom of the single stem which supports several flowers towards the top of the plant.


Found only in Norfolk, south Wales and north Devon.

HabitatAs its name suggests, this is an orchid of fens and moist dunes.

Did you know?

The Norfolk population is morphologically distinct from that in Wales, since it possesses more flowers and acute oblong-elliptical leaves as opposed to the Welsh population's oval form.

In Norfolk they are found on 'The Broads', a man-made feature formed as a result of medieval peat cutting. After this practice ended in the 14th Century, the natural processes of fenland succession, from open water to scrub and eventually woodland, have resulted in the decline and/or disappearance of the orchid from many of its previous sites.

On account of its rarity, the fen orchid is legally protected under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981. In East Anglia efforts are being made to ensure it continues to thrive through appropriate reintroduction programmes, habitat management, and research into the relationships between the plant and the mycorrhizal fungi necessary for its germination from seed.