Bee Orchid spotted in Silchester

An early benefit of Sustainable Silchester’s No Mow May campaign is that a bee orchid has been spotted in one of the verges next to housing in Silchester.

These orchids are rare to see because it takes as long as six years for the orchid to flower and many bee orchids only flower once in their lifetime.

The flowers are designed to mimic female bees, both in scent and appearance. In this way the male bee is tricked into landing on the flower and attempting to mate with it. When the bee moves on to another plant, the pollen it has picked up from the first orchid is transferred to the next. Unfortunately, the correct species of bee is not found in the UK so our bee orchids are all self-pollinated.  

But there’s more – another beneficiary of No Mow May is that a pyramidal orchid has also been spotted in the uncut verges. These orchids are quite common but it is, nonetheless, great to see them in the verges at the side of the road.