Steve_Howell_pyramid_orchidPyramid orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalis).
Photo: Steve Howell


'Two years ago, we decided not to mow the grass as often in our front garden, cutting only twice a year. This year we were rewarded with a beautiful pyramid orchid. We have no idea how orchids are propagated but are very excited that there may be multiple plants in a few years.

There are reports that bee orchids (Ophrys apifera) grew in an unmown area in Merton Close; unfortunately, these have recently been mown down!

Perhaps (neighbours and "health & safety" considerations permitting) we could all reduce the amount of mowing in our gardens for the benefit of our disappearing wildlife - and, of course, our delight?'

Steve Howell


p.s. Did you know that  Anacamptis comes from the from Greek ανακάμτειν 'anakamptein' - 'bend forward', while the Latin name pyramidalis refers to the pyramidal shape of the 'inflorescence' (to us non-botanists: the complete flower head of a plant including stems, stalks, bracts, and flowers)?

p.p.s. 'Orchid' also has a Greek root, ὄρχις (órkhis), which originates in a typically grisly Greek myth...

p.p.p.s. Carl Linnaeus classified the family as Orchidaceae.

p.p.p.p.s. 'Orchid' was introduced in 1845 by John Lindley in School Botany, due to an incorrect attempt to extract the Latin stem (orchis) from Orchidaceae.