13/05/2018 Cilburn Moss, Cumbria

 Lesser Twyblade: (Neottia cordata) The phrase "good things come in small packages" has never been so appropriate, these super tiny lesser twayblades were superb a real joy to behold.

After getting some help with directions from a fellow orchid enthusiast on Twitter, Dawn and I decided to spend the day in Cumbria in search of these tiny beauties.

These tiny orchids are particular difficult to find not just because of its diminutive size, but also because it grows in woodlands in the dark shady, humid sites between and underneath taller plants including heather and bilberry and silver birch.

It was funny as almost soon as Dawn and I stepped out of the car we were approached by two other orchid hunters in search of the tinny twybales.  Asking for directions I pointed then in the right area, not overly sure on specifics myself.

The couple were lovely and very knowledge about orchids and both set off ahead of Dawn and I.

When we arrived there was another person togging the orchids a Mr Dr Richard Bate, another recent twitter follower who has been kind enough to some of his vast knowledge of orchids.

I was stunned to how small these rare orchids are no bigger than 3-4cm tall, the plant is distinctive in having only two leaves (which gives rise to its common name), and these are heart-shaped (hence the specific, scientific name 'cordata').

These glossy green leaves occur about one third of the way up the stem, opposite each other.

Very occasionally there can be a third leaf, growing further up the stem, and below the flowers. The leaves have a distinct central rib (like in this image)

Orchid hunting with my loved one, no better day spent then finding rare and beautiful plants, eating ice cream and sitting in the sun.