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Ploughshare serapias

Ploughshare serapias

Ploughshare serapias

This must be about the ugliest flower I’ve ever come across, and yet it’s an orchid.

It’s brown and spiky, and has neither perfume nor nectar.

I was amused to read that it has a very gentle deceptive strategy for getting itself pollinated.

It attracts insects simply by its shape, providing them with a little tube to rest in at night or shelter in from the rain.

Having enjoyed this hospitality, the insect (most often a beetle) proceeds to pay its host back by pollinating the next flower!

I believe these are ploughshare serapias, so-called because the lower part of the lip looks like a ploughshare. They grow quite thickly in one part of the field near the house.

Cosy lodgings for passing beetles

Cosy lodgings for passing beetles

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