My long suffering agreed that we could make our week’s holiday in May coincide with my renewed enthusiasm for wild orchids, so we went via the Auvergne, Rhône alps, Provence and back to Auvergne in a week (chasing the sunshine – the weather was apalling)
I’ve been researching wild French orchids, and it seems we are in the worst place being in the Creuse, since most orchids like more alkaline soils. Although we have the common Early purple orchid, orchis mascula, and a dactorhilyza that likes acid wet conditions (that’s the Creuse!), there isn’t much else here so it was great to see what’s on offer in the rest of France. Here are some of what we found:
Orchis purpurea (everywhere), dactorylhiza sambucina red and yellow (Cantal), ophrys sphegodes, orchis pallens (Izere), not orchid related – a gentian, possibly acaulis or angustifolia, and orchis simia (monkey orchid).