27th July 2012

A wild orchid in the car park

Here’s something that you don’t see every day – at least not in a car park. It’s the common spotted orchid. Despite its name, I hardly find it in the wild and certainly not in car parks.

I have a habit of scanning roadside verges and keeping half an eye on commercial landscaping because there are often little gems that seed themselves in unlikely places.  There are particular stretches of field poppies, lupins and cowslips growing by the side of some motorways that I look forward to driving past and they’ve become natural markers of the changing seasons in the same way that bluebell woodlands and autumn leaves are.

Has anybody else ever found a plant growing where you wouldn’t expect?


The common spotted orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsii). Photograph: David Wong

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