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Early purple orchid   Orchis mascula


A quite variable orchid but it's early flowering (April-May),  purplish stem and long rear spur are the giveaway.  It can occur in many habitats.





Here's the most typical appearance, both photographed in a wildflower meadow in Monmouthshire, Wales,  May 2006




Early Purple Orchid 11 pink


There are very pale forms such as this, and there are rarer white ("alba") forms with little purple pigment at all.






Early Purple Orchid 12                                                                Early Purple Orchid 19



The Burren,  Co. Clare, Ireland,  June 2008




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