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Platanthera bifolia

Platanthera bifolia
This is the native Lesser Butterfly orchid that is fairly widespread throughout the western and southern parts of the UK. It has a flower spike to 30cm with 15/20 white night scented flowers. The bifolia comes from the two main leaves that appear in the spring. It is more tolerant of acid conditions than the Greater Butterfly. For those introducing the plant into grassland or woodland an appropriate habitat management scheme must be introduced. In meadows grazing may take place from July until late autumn. This will help keep the sward open. Alternatively the grass may be cut for hay. Plants will begin growth in the spring, producing the typical twin leaaves. In woodlands the lesser butterfly-orchid tends to grow along paths and clearings where the grass is sparse. Plants are normally sent out potted when the species are dormant. In this case between AUGUST and MARCH.

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