28/04/2018 Venus Pool, Shrewsbury

Green-winged Orchid: Today I had a wedding client met ting in Shrewsbury, typically I wouldn't go that far but this client is an old friend and colleague from my days at Cheshire Wildlife Trust.

After visiting their beautiful venue and having a good catch up I decided to make the most of my time down here and go see if I can find the  green-winged orchids around Venus Pools.
I have only ever been here once before to see the female pine bunting and even then i didn't get a chance to have a good luck round.

After finding the place, which took some doing, I walked around the pools and visited some hides. I spotted the purple flowers from some distance in a nearby field.
They came in two main colours a light pinky purple and a darker purple and stood out in the bright green fields transforming it from pasture in to a wild flower meadow.

These striking orchids are very similar to the early-purple orchids that are much more commonly found, but can be identified by the distinct parallel greenish veins on each side of the hood formed by the tepals on the upper part of the flower.
These veins are never found on the Early-purple Orchid. The colour of the flowers can vary from very pale pink to a much deeper purple.

The leaves of this species are unspotted, mainly in a basal rosette, the uppermost sheathing the lower stem.

This is where the orchid gets its name from, these green greenish veins under the tepals in away resemble wings, made green by the veins.