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Thursday, 28 June 2012

Man Orchids today at Darland Banks, Kent

What a joy it was to meet Ron Hardwick at Darland Banks today. 
He is an Honorary Warden of Kent Wildlife Trust
He showed me Man Orchids, Aceras anthropophorum / Orchis anthropophora which had eluded my own searches and pointed me in the direction of yet more shown below.  Many, many thanks to you Ron.

Very rare in Sussex, yet abundant in Kent.  With an estimated 4,000 here, this is the place to be for Man Orchids.  They flower from early May on the open Downs to late June in sheltered spots, ref. David Lang "Wild Orchids of Sussex".  Most had gone to seed as expected but I was able to see these, thanks to Ron.  He pointed me to a roadside bank north of the junction of Ash Tree Lane and Beacon Road, outside of the nature reserve.
There were scores of them here still retaining some flowers.

They grow in great clumps here!


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