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Biology

This perennial orchid flowers from June to July, after which the visible parts of the plant die, and it survives the summer as an underground tuber (6). The flowers are pollinated by bees, but very few have been observed in Britain and fruit set is usually less than two percent. The tiny seeds are dispersed by the wind in late July and August (6), and require a mycorrhizal fungus to develop (6). Rosette leaves are produced in the autumn and over-winter, withering after flowering (6). It is thought that most plants do not live very long (44 percent for one to three years, and only five percent more than ten years) but some plants may live for up to 30 years (6). It is capable of vegetative reproduction (5), but most reproduction is from seed (6). Some plants have flowered every year for five years, and others remain dormant under the ground for up to four to seven years (6).

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Source: ARKive

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