Today’s walk along the Thames at the Swanscombe Peninsular – an amazing place for nature with a lot of ground reclaimed long ago from former industrial workings mixing with reserves sporting marsh harriers and a very wide array of birds – was peppered with pyramids.
Well, pyramidal orchids to be precise – beautiful pyramid shaped wild flowers which range in colour from deep magenta to pure albino white. Scores of them lay in the verges, here almost all a deep pink, and were a wonderful sight to see. To think – orchids, orchids everywhere.
Flowering in June and July, they add a rich texture to the wildflowers on show which today included great shows of goat’s rue and wild pea along with all the usual suspects for this time of year from ox-eye daises, vetch of many kinds, to red and white clover.
The Plantlife website tells us that ‘originally a flower of old, semi-natural chalk and limestone grasslands, including graveyards, the pyramidal orchid has shown a penchant for more artificial environments in recent times. Colonies have appeared along motorways and ring-roads, marinas and even at one time Stansted Airport.’
Plantlife – www.plantlife.org.uk