Below are some of the species to be found in East Kent with their habitat preferences and flowering periods.
This species is found mostly in woodland on chalk or limestone soils with little ground cover. Its flowering period is May and June and it can grow up to 60cm in height.
Deciduous and coniferous woodland but can also be found in duneslacks. It likes areas of light such as along paths and clearings. It flowers from early June to early September and up to 90 cm in height.
Bird’s- Nest Orchid
A saprophytic orchid without leaves whose name is derived from the shape of its roots resembling a bird’s nest.
It grows in deep humus under Beech or Yew trees on chalk soils. Its flowering period is end of April to early July and grows up to 50 cm in height.
A grassland and woodland species on chalky soils in shade or exposed conditions. Can also be found in dune slacks. It flowers May to June up to 60 cm.
Autumn Lady's Tresses
Dry well drained grassland on chalk or limestone soils. In Kent likes cliff tops and golf courses and it flowers late in Mid August to end of September with a height up to 15 cm.
Found in short grass on chalk down land. Difficult to find due to its colour and size (7-25 cm) and it flowers from mid June to early August.
Greater Butterfly Orchid
Found in calcareous soils in woodlands or dry grasslands and scrub. It flowers from May to August at a height ranging from 25-50 cm.
Lesser Butterfly Orchid
Found in grassland and woodland, especially Beech Woods. It flowers From mid-May to July and can grow up to 55cm in height.
Commonly found on chalk and limestone grassland where it flowers from Mid-June to August with heights up to 60cm.
It grows on chalk grasslands from mid May to early August and up to 40 cm in height. Locally common.
Only one site in East Kent from where it has probably now disappeared. It grows on chalk and flowers from late June to early September up to 15cm in height.
Common Spotted Orchid
This widespread orchid grows in grassland, open woodlands and can grow virtually anywhere where the soils are not acid. This species can be found in many colours and shapes according to where it grows. It flowers from mid May to early August up to a height of 70cm.
Southern Marsh Orchid
Widespread and as the name suggests it grows in wet areas such as meadows, duneslacks and marshes. Often found on road verges derelict sites. It flowers from early June to mid July up to a height of 70cm.
Early Purple Orchid
It grows on the chalk grasslands and in woodland. It flowers from late April to mid June up to 60cm in height.
Grows in wet grassland to sanddunes and road verges from Late April to early June up to just about 15 cm.
Found only on closely grazed grassland on chalk or limestone. An uncommon plant in Kent which flowers from early May to June up to a height of only 15cm.
One of the most magnificent orchids in Kent which can grow up to a metre in height. It flowers from late April to June in open woodland of Beech, Ash or Hazel on chalk or limestone soils.
Only grows on one site open to the public in East Kent on chalk grassland. It flowers from Late May to early June up to 30cm in height.
This orchid grows mostly on open grassland and sand dunes. It can also be found in woodlands in May and June. It can grow up to 40 cm in height.
The main site for this species is in East Kent where it grows on sand dunes. It flowers from late June to late July up to 70 co in height.
It grows in open woodland on chalk in May and June to a height of 60cm.
Early Spider Orchid
Common in one or two coastal locations in Kent on chalk clifftops. It flowers early from late April throughtout May up to 20cm in height.
Reasonably common plant which can occur almost anywhere and flowers from June to mid July up to 50cm in height.
Late Spider Orchid
A very rare plant restricted to East Kent where it grows on closely grazed chalk grassland. It flowers from end of June to mid July up to 55 cm in height but usually much smaller than that.
Sandwich Bird Tours offers Orchid Tours in East Kent - details can be found on the Orchid Tours Page.