Thursday, May 28, 2009

An Orky Day

Well, I mean une orchidée, or an orchid. There are many varieties of wild orchid growing all around us here in central France. We have some in our yard, but mostly they grow out in meadows, and along roadsides and streams.

The greater butterfly orchid. I think.

This is one that I recognized from Susan's recent post about orchids at Days on the Claise. She and Simon are wild orchid experts and seek them out every year. Here's a bit more info about this particular orchid on their Loire Valley Nature site.

It is either une platanthère verdâtre (platanthera chlorantha) or une platanthère à deux feuilles (platanthera bifolia). Apparently the two varieties are easily confused. I'm not enough of an expert to know which variety this one is, but I suspect it's the former.

A closer shot of the flower heads.

This patch grows in a small field up among the vineyards. The field is in a flat spot of land that probably holds enough moisture to please the orchids. That's where I was able to photograph these specimens. There were about ten or twelve distinct plants, if I remember correctly.


  1. Well done Walt. Glad to see you are using the website. Your ID is spot on.

  2. Hey, that's a great website. Susan, did you give it to Walt?


  3. Reminds me of going to Longwood Gardens near Philadelphia....check out my pics from'll have to scan down until you see the flower shots. It's quite the place:

  4. Very pretty orchid. The gentleman from "passion de la nature" also posted some great shots of wild orchids in "la Drome region".

  5. Sorry I forgot to write my name again.

  6. susan, I'm so proud.

    judy, I think Susan created the site.

    alewis, I will check it out!

    nadege, again, I will check it out! Thanks.

  7. We seem to be very good at killing orchids. So cool you have them growing right out in the fields.


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