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Saturday, 2 May 2009

Shakespeare & the "Long Purples"

Early Purple Orchids are starting to flower locally in the Gunton area of Lowestoft with at least one plant in Gunton Wood and around 20 along the edge of a local tourist attraction.
Actual numbers of this Orchid seen so far are well down on previous years, hopefully more will flower soon. They are very late in flowering though due to the colder winter weather we experienced this year.
Early Purples are the first (together with Early Spider Orchids) Orchids to flower in Britain.
They are even referred to by Shakespeare in his famous tragic play Hamlet where he refers to Early Purple Orchids as "long Purples" and he also states "but unlike cold maids do Dead Mens Fingers call" referring to another old country name. other country names refer to them as the "Adder plant" and the "Cuckoo plant" referring to the first sighting of both these species after emerging from hibernation and migrating back from their winter quarters in Africa respectively.

1 comment:

hamstermoon said...

I've just found out about the long purples in the lowestoft area after reading the Biodiversity report. Any suggestions WHERE in the 'local tourist attraction' area I should look if I go hunting?