Himantoglossum Hircinum, Lizard Orchid

Common name:
Lizard orchid
Scientific name:
Himantoglossum hircinum
Main flower color:
Scattered locations in Suffolk, Kent, and a few other south England counties
Up to 100 cm
Grassland and stabilised dunes, often calcareous places
The three sepals are dull greyish-green in colour, purplish along the edge and purple-streaked inside, and form a tight hood, enclosing the upper two petals. The lower petal is purple-coloured and strongly three lobed, with the middle lobe long (up to 5 cm) and narrow, initially coiled then straight. The lateral lobes are also somewhat coiled, or irregularly twisted. The upper portion of the middle lobe is hairy, whitish, and flecked with pink-purple dots. Flowers form in a dense, elongated cluster along the upper third of the stout stem. Flowers are subtended by narrow bracts, similar in length to the lower petal
Oblong (basal) to narrowly ovate (cauline); up to 20 cm long, withering before or during blooming time
May to July