New Forest Orchids


Orchids are perennial plants, and the family of orchids (called Orchidaceae), which includes at least 25,000 species with more being discovered each year, is the largest and most highly evolved family of flowering plants on earth. All species rely to some extent on a complex symbiotic relationship with fungal partners, utilizing nutrients provided by the fungi. There are around 50 varieties of these exotic plants found in the UK and the New Forest is home to 15 of them which are shown below.

All photographs ©Simon Currie

Southern Marsh Orchid - Dactylorhiza praetermissaMarsh Helleborine - Epipactis palustrisLesser Butterfly Orchid - Platanthera bifoliaHeath Spotted Orchid - Dactylorhiza maculataHeath Fragrant Orchid - Gymnadenia borealisGreen-winged Orchid - Anacamptis morioEarly Purple Orchid - Orchis masculaEarly Marsh Orchid - Dactylorhiza incarnata sspCommon Twayblade - Neottia ovataCommon Spotted Orchid - Dactylorhiza fuchsiiBroad-leaved Helleborine - Epipactis helleborineBog Orchid - Hammarbya paludosaBird's-nest Orchid - Neottia nidus-avisBee Orchid - Ophrys apiferaAutumn Lady's Tresses - Spiranthes spiralis

Please do not pick or remove any of the forest’s wild flowers – leave them for everyone to enjoy. (Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, it is an offence to intentionally uproot any wild plant without the permission of the owner of the land on which the plant is growing. Uprooting is defined as ‘digging up or otherwise removing the plant from the land on which it is actually growing’ – this applies to all land in the New Forest.)