The name 'pyramidal' comes from the shape of the young infloresence of this plant. Once the flower is fully developed it becomes cylindrical or egg-shaped, which can sometimes cause confusion.
These bright pink orchids can appear in vast numbers in chalk and limestone habitats but are frequently seen on roadside verges, too. Occasionally pure white specimens occur but this is quite rare. The Pyramidal Orchid can be found throughout the UK, in many European countries including Slovenia, North Africa and Near East.
The coastal dune slacks are a great place to see these orchids and, in a good year, they will appear in thousands. In South Wales, Kenfig National Nature Reserve near Port Talbot is a great spot for Pyramidal Orchids, while in North Wales, Newborough Warren National Nature Reserve on the Isle of Anglesey also has excellent displays. In other parts of the UK, chalk downland as well as coastal areas will play host to these beautiful orchids.
The specimen above was photographed close to the Algarve Coast in Portugal in May.
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