Man Orchid

Orchis Anthropophora

Mid-May to Early June

I had never heard of the man orchid before embarking on this project, and was amazed to find that this endangered species is growing in my local area. It is a wonderful plant; the individual flowers really do look like people! It is easy to miss this specimen when out walking as it blends into the background grasses, but I was given help to locate the specimens by the City Commons team; they are tucked away in an area of Kenley Common which is less frequented by walkers.

All of my studies of this plant had to be completed in the field due to the endangered status and this was a good challenge for me. I was lucky to locate a healthy, tall specimen and returned to observe and draw it many times.

I chose to show enlargements of the flowers (which look to me like small people wearing cycle helmets) and this allowed me to show the twisted ovary that connects the flower to the stem the plant. I was also able to observe seedheads later in the season.