Big Garden Homethe natural worldNorthern Marsh Orchid

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Northern Marsh Orchid — 6 Comments

  1. Wow! Asparagus is definitely not as pretty when it blooms… must be the (obviously) plain cousin in that floral family. Thanks for sharing one i would never have seen without your help! Are they in sufficient numbers to use for dye? Guessing it would make a purple to blue rather than purple to pink?

    • J & D > The numbers vary from year to year according to conditions, but recent years have seen considerable increase in numbers of orchids. That’s here in the Outer Hebrides. On the mainland, these plants are generally found only on protected sites. We have no knowledge of orchids being used for dyeing. Even if they can be, it might only be the roots that yield any useful colour. Although plentiful, it is a criminal offence to uproot any wildflowers, and many orchids are also protected from picking the flowers or any kind of disturbance. So we’ll just leave to the imagination the question of whether they yield any dye!

  2. Its a lovely flower and amazing to me that it grows wild! Is it related to the grape hyacinth, those wee little blue-purple flowers that are often planted in botanical gardens along with tulips and daffodils?

    • J > Very distantly related : both come under the ‘Asparagus’ order of plants, though that is a bit like saying we’re both related to chimpanzees! Certainly, both are short, have blue-ish petals, and have minimal foliage. That’s Grape Hyacinth and Northern Marsh Orchid – not you and me! Incidentally, the Grape Hyacinth is not, strictly, a Hyacinth at all, though Hyacinth family is also an ‘Asparagus’.

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