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Early Spider Orchid (Ophrys sphegodes)
Flowering for just a brief few weeks at the end of April and start of May, the Early Spider Orchid is a plant that is nationally rare. The best sites for this orchid being in Dorset, the flower has been adopted as the symbol of the Dorset Wildlife Trust.
This diminutive plant stands typically only some 50120mm tall, its flowers fading soon after opening. The dark brown colour of the lip of the flower and the 'H' shaped shiny blue-grey speculum at the flower's top centre are diagnostic. Pollination is by a species of bee, the plant having evolved in such a way that pollination takes place as the male bee attempts to copulate with the bee like flower.