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Bee orchids thriving at Wakehurst

Trudy Ede with a bee orchid

Trudy Ede with a bee orchid

The native bee orchid has self-seeded and spread into a thriving colony at Wakehurst Place with 2014 producing the most spectacular array yet of flowers resembling the insects they are named after.

The bee orchid is a wild flower usually seen on chalk downland in southern England, so those at Kew’s country garden in West Sussex were surprised when a plant appeared near the attraction’s visitor centre on a highly acidic clay soil.

Horticulturalist Trudy Ede, who manages this part of the gardens at Wakehurst, said: “Each year more of their intriguing blooms are appearing in a soil type they shouldn’t be thriving on”

 

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