Butterfly OrchidButterfly Orchids
Our country parks have some of the finest displays of spring flowers in the Vale of Glamorgan. Primroses, violets, wood anemones, cowslips, native bluebells and wood sorrel are in full bloom from March and carry on until the early summer months.
The most spectacular is the greater butterfly orchid, which has thrived. Ten years ago, the flowers could have been counted on two hands but last year almost three hundred flower spikes could be seen.
Location: Porthkerry Country Park / Cosmeston Lakes Country Park
The greater butterfly orchid is a tall flower (up to 1½ feet) with several cream, inch-wide blooms on a single stalk.
The shape of the flower resembles a small butterfly with outspread wings and a double tail. Pollination is highly specialised, needing a small fly to hit its back on a sack of pollen as it seeks the nectar in the centre of the flower.