Bugs, early purples and sword lilies


We examined several species of orchids in my last few articles this year, including Bumblebee, pyramid, mirror, bee, man and Naked man orchids, but a few more specialties will come into bloom in April with the Bug Orchid to be one of them, along with lovely Little Early Purple orchids and a slight change with wild gladioli now blooming, adding a touch of darker color to the woods and open fields.

It is certainly this time of year when the flowers begin to show their variety of colors and when the birds sing out their hearts to claim both a territory and a partner. It’s a busy time for the outdoors and a good time for us nature lovers with lots to see and photograph.

Bug Orchid

My first Bug Orchid was along the main path that led into the Albufera Swamp where I led a group of University of the Third Age (U3A) bird watchers from England.

We had stopped to see some night herons at night Tamarisk When I noticed the opposite orchid right next to my feet, I almost stood on it because it was not only small, but also blended well into the grass.

A Cettis Warbler shouted next to us in the vegetation, but just didn’t show up. This orchid gets its name from the smell it breathes out, which is believed to be reminiscent of bed bugs. Grassy areas, macchia and open forests thrive where the 2 – 4 leaves taper into a lance shape.

The pointed sepals form a beak hood and the flowers can be brownish, red or green. What impressed me most about this orchid was that, although it was seen once and was conspicuous, it blended in so well with the other plants beforehand.

The group certainly enjoyed watching it too, and indeed it was a new way for all of us. That’s what I love about orchids. When you search for them specifically, it’s exciting when you actually find them, but when you happen to come across some it’s just as exciting.

Small early purple orchids

Strolling along the edges of the Spar and Turkey oak Forests, sunny slopes, and open slopes show a beautiful species of orchid that grows either singly, but more often in groups.

In one year I counted 93 growing on an open bench. Nothing looks prettier among the various greens of the trees and the darker colors of the forest floor than a cluster of these dainty orchids that are growing, and when the sunlight falls through the canopy they look great.

They are a perennial herbaceous plant with stems up to 10-25 cm in height, green at the base and purple at the top. The root system consists of two tubers. The leaves (grouped at the base of the stem) are lanceolate, light green, and sometimes with brownish-purple spots. They can produce around 6 to 20 flowers gathered in dense cylindrical spikes.

Purple orchids

The flower size is around 1 inch and the color varies from pinkish-purple to a deep purple. They bloom from April to June and add a pop of color wherever they grow.
This orchid attracts pollinating insects such as Bees and Wasps of the genera Apis, Bombus, Eucera, Andrena, Psithyrus and Xylocopa. On occasion, Beetle can also be attracted with the appearance of its flower mimicking other species.

Nicole T Benitson wrote a great book on the orchids of Mallorca that is part of my reference library. Of course, the forests not only attract me to orchids in April, there will also be birdsong, and there is nothing better than looking for orchids and other plants on the ground and listening to songs such as Blackbirds and Nightingales, with the quieter calls of the Great tit and Chaffinch, and the Blue tit (when you are at a higher altitude than normal). The dainty little ones also live in the forest clearings Speckled wood Butterfly too, and if you’re really lucky you might have stumbled upon a forest pool that is attracting Crossbills drink down.

Wild (field) gladioli

Now I know what you’re thinking Gladiolus is not an orchid, but on occasion I was shown pictures of people who mistook them for swamp orchids. Plus, they’re now in bloom and are an adorable plant that adds a pop of color to the fields and borders. Gladiolus (from Latin, the diminution of gladius, a sword) is a perennial tuber that belongs to the iris family.

It is sometimes called the “iris”. Gladioli grow from round, symmetrical tubers (similar to crocuses) that are wrapped in several layers of brownish, fibrous tunics. The genus Gladiolus contains about 300 species.

Their stems are generally unbranched and produce 1 to 9 narrow, sword-shaped, longitudinally grooved leaves that are enclosed in a sheath. The leaf blade can be flat or cross-shaped in cross section (see close-up photo courtesy of Lesley Atterwill – @LesleyAtterwill).

They bloom from March to June, sometimes longer, and can appear in large numbers. I remember a year down at the S’Illot waterworks, where gladioli grew in abundance in the surrounding fields where crops were grown. It was a sea of ​​green interspersed with deep pinks. The flowers of unmodified wild species vary from very small to perhaps 40 mm wide and the inflorescences carry one to several flowers.

Wild (field) gladioli

The flower stalks are large and one-sided, with second, bisexual flowers, each surrounded by two leathery, green bracts. The sepals and petals look almost identical and are called “tepals”. The flowers are differently colored and range from pink to reddish or light purple with white, contrasting markings or white to cream or orange to red.

Where the wild gladioli grow, birds feed, as do well both in the open fields and on the plains. The Corn flag will be present, perched on top of a tree to hand out his jingling keys like a shout and groups of whites Cattle egrets will feed between the tall plants looking for food.

In the more open areas a Thekla or even a Short-toed lark can feed with Red-legged partridges scurrying around here and there, and the ubiquitous little chattering groups of House sparrows never far away.

Lovebirds Trees or fences are erected on the way through the migration. One thing is certain: orchids and other plants mean one thing: you need to be in different outdoor habitats to find them, which is good for your wellbeing.

For me, the open levels offer the opportunity to see Wild gladioli in good numbers, and where I know the breeze will move over the fields and through the crops where I will also be on the lookout for a number of species of birds.

The forest areas, on the other hand, offer the opportunity to be alone, surrounded by trees and bushes, accompanied by birdsong, and look around on the ground for a splash of color or an orchid that lacks color, such as the one that is not yet in bloom Bird nest orchidand as I watch where I go I still have the memory of stepping into a low branch once and seeing stars, not orchids.