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Biology

This perennial orchid flowers in May and June (2), the main pollinators are thought to be hoverflies and bumblebees (6). After a seed germinates, it is thought that it can take about four years before leaves appear and a further four years before the plant produces flowers (2). A single plant can live for up to 15 years (6). The Greek name Orchis means testicle, all members of this genus have two globular root tubers which led to orchid root being used as aphrodisiacs since classical times (3). The military orchid was called 'souldiers cullions' (which means 'soldiers' testicles) by John Gerard in The Herball of 1597 (3).

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Source: ARKive

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