Hardy Orchid Society - Welcome!

This is the Home Page of the UK Hardy Orchid Society!

This site is designed to be viewed with a screen resolution of 1024 x 768


oph-apfr.jpg (15396 bytes)Are you fascinated by wild orchids?

Would you like to grow orchids from seed?

Do you enjoy looking for flowers?

Are you a keen photographer?


   If you answered 'YES' to any of these questions, you will find plenty of like-minded people in the Hardy Orchid Society!

If you are new to orchids, there is a New to Orchids Page which includes common names and annotated diagrams of the parts of orchids.

HOS activities for members include the following:

If you have any suggestions for future additions to this website, or if you would like to comment on what is here at present, please send an email to Mike Gasson.

What's New

New Subscription Rates for 2014
If you are already a member and need to update your Standing Order mandate to take account of the 2014 rise in subscriptions rates
PLEASE CLICK HERE for instructions and a new Standing Order form for you to use

If you are not yet a member but wish to join HOS please CLICK HERE for the appropriate details

What's New for November 2013
Updated orchid supplies list

What's New for October 2013
Updated seed list

What's New for July 2013
New Rules/Classes for Photographic Show 2013

What's New for April 2013
Plant Show 2013

Early-purple Orchid Pollination Study

What's New for December 2012
Results of Photographic Show 2012

What's New for October 2012

Updated seed sowing supplies list

Details for use of Members' Forum

HOS Activities

The Hardy Orchid Society meets three times a year for an all-day get-together. These meetings feature talks, slide shows, PowerPoint presentations and discussions on a variety of subjects relating to hardy orchids from near and far. Topics covered include orchid holidays at home and abroad, cultivation methods, features on particular families, species or hybrids, propagation from seed, etc. 

A Plant Show is held at the Spring Meeting, and at the Autumn Meeting the photographers can compete with slides and prints. There is always a non-competitive exhibition area for anything orchid-related, together with commercial and members' sales tables for plants and other odds and ends. A Northern meeting is held  mainly for the benefit of our more northerly members.

Outdoor meetings appear in the HOS Summer Programme. Most years, several day trips are arranged around the UK, where volunteers offer to show HOS members around their local sites of orchid interest.

Conservation work is a high priority, with a number of major projects undertaken so far. The first was for HOS members to grow a number of native orchid species from seed and then plant the tubers on a well-protected hillside in Dudley Zoo - results were very encouraging. 

The second was an emergency rescue operation, where many White helleborines, threatened by building development, were transferred to the comparative safety of other local sites that were not under threat. This seems to be an ongoing problem as other species have been moved from nearby locations in 2002, 2003 and 2004. 

The third was in collaboration with the Sainsbury Orchid Project at Kew, in which several HOS members were 'growing on' Cypripedium calceolus seedlings, the majority of which were destined for re-introduction to northern locations where they once flourished. 

Recently a number of projects involving the raising of orchids from seed have been undertaken with various National and International bodies. Further details of these projects are in the conservation section.

HOS members have also grown Dactylorhiza fuchsii from seed and planted tubers at a site in Oxfordshire. This subsequently became a threatened site so the orchids have been moved a few hundred metres away. The Conservation Officer has also advised a Director of Thomas Merrifield and the Deputy Director of the National Radiological Protection Board on how to care for the orchids (Ophrys apifera & Cephalanthera damasonium) which are growing on land that they control.

The Conservation Officer is always interested in having volunteers available and runs a special, exclusive, field trip for volunteers who have undertaken projects during the previous year.

The main activities of the Hardy Orchid Society are centred on sharing the pleasures and knowledge of hardy orchids as widely as possible.

Events List 2013

N.B. These events are for members of the society and their guests, and are not open to the public.

Any members wishing to make booking for the field trips or requests for information please contact Malcolm Brownsword.

Sunday 21 April 2013

Spring Meeting, Plant Show and AGM

Exeter Hall, Kidlington 

Sunday 5 May 2013

North east of Oxford to see vast numbers of Anacamptis morio and a few Dactylorhiza incarnata, as well as many other plants, in ancient hay meadows, followed by a trip in the afternoon to a second nature reserve.

Details in JHOS January 2013
Sunday 19 May 2013

 Near Guildford, Surrey to see Bird’s-nest, Fly and Greater Butterfly Orchids, White Helleborine and Common Twayblade as well as early butterflies at two reserves on the North Downs.

Details in JHOS January 2013
Sunday 2 June 2013

Near Oswestry, Shropshire to visit an ancient hay meadow with six species of orchid, notably Frog Orchid, as well as many other plants, followed by a visit in the afternoon to a nearby nature reserve.

Details in JHOS January 2013
Saturday 15 June 2013

Dorset Downs near Shaftesbury, good for all the common downland flora, orchids and butterflies. There should be plentiful Bee Orchids, Fragrant Orchids, Greater Butterfly Orchids and possibly Frog orchids. In the afternoon we may move to an area of the New Forest with the opportunity to compare Greater and Lesser Butterfly Orchids, Common and Heath Spotted Orchids and see the Early Marsh Orchid.

Details updated and no longer accurate in the January 2013 JHOS
Sunday 16 June 2013

Buckinghamshire to see about 15,000 flowering Gymnadenia conopsea, as well as large numbers of Dactylorhiza fuchsii, Neottia ovata and other orchids. Hybrids between Gymnadenia conopsea and Dactylorhiza fuchsii are a strong possibility here. In the afternoon we will visit another site to look for Herminium monorchis. Also good for butterflies.

Details in JHOS January 2013
Thursday 20 June 2013

Kent, to see Ophrys fuciflora, Ophrys apifera, Orchis anthropophorum, Anacamptis pyramidalis, Hermantoglossum hircinum, Dactylorhiza praetermissa (including var. pardalina) and Gymnadenia conopsea.

Details will be in JHOS  April 2013
Tuesday 25 June 2013

South Cumbria in limestone country for Dactylorhiza, Gymnadenia, bi- and intergeneric hybrids, and Small White Orchid.

Details in JHOS January 2013
Sunday 30 June 2013

Perthshire for visits to three sites with the possibility of seeing Early Marsh Orchid, Northern Marsh Orchid, Heath Fragrant Orchid, Heath Spotted Orchid, Common Spotted Orchid, Greater Butterfly Orchid, Bird’s-nest Orchid and Small White Orchid. This meeting is likely to be restricted to ten members.

Details in JHOS January 2013
Tuesday 9 July 2013

Hampshire for Neotinea ustulata var. aestivalis and other chalk downland orchids.

Details in JHOS January 2013
Sunday 14 July 2013

Northumberland principally for the Tyne and Lindisfarne helleborines but also many other more common species.

Details in JHOS January 2013
Saturday 10 August 2013

Glamorgan to see late-flowering helleborines such as Epipactis helleborine and its neerlandica variety plus Epipactis phyllanthes and its cambrensis variety. Also the possibility of seeing the three late-flowering varieties of Epipactis palustris: ochroleuca, albiflora and ericetorum.

Details in JHOS January 2013
Saturday 7 September 2013 Northern Meeting
St Chad's Leeds
Sunday 17 November 2013 Autumn Southern Meeting with Photographic Competition
Exeter Hall, Kidlington
Booking Form and Programme
Betty Barber

Future dates

N.B. These events are for members of the society and their guests, and are not open to the public.

Sunday 30 March 2014

Spring Meeting, Plant Show and AGM

Exeter Hall, Kidlington

Betty Barber
Saturday 6 September 2014 Northern Meeting
St Chad's Leeds
John & Shelagh Temporal
Sunday 16 November 2014 Autumn Southern Meeting with Photographic Competition
 Exeter Hall, Kidlington
Betty Barber
Sunday 19 April 2015

Spring Meeting, Plant Show and AGM

Exeter Hall, Kidlington

Betty Barber
Saturday 5 September 2015 Northern Meeting
St Chad's Leeds
John & Shelagh Temporal
Sunday 15 November 2015 Autumn Southern Meeting with Photographic Competition
Exeter Hall, Kidlington 
Betty Barber


HOS Photographic Competition 

New Rules for the 2013 Competition

New Website Pages for Photographic Competition 2012

Photographic Competition 2011

Below are the First Prize winning pictures from the 2011 Photographic Competition - to see a larger version of the picture just click your mouse on the individual 'thumbnail'. 

Due to the limits of screen resolution and file size, the images that you will see cannot do full justice to the clarity, colour depth and brilliance of the original pictures.

All pictures have been provided by HOS members, who retain the copyright to their pictures.

None of the pictures may be reproduced without the owner's permission.


Class 1:


'Orchidaceous Landscape'

(prints up to 7" x 5")


Anacamptis pyramidalis

 Alan Blackman


Class 2:


'Group of Plants'

(prints up to 7" x 5")



Anacamptis pyramidalis


Patrick Marks


Class 3:


'Whole Plant'

(prints up to 7" x 5")



Anacamptis morio


David Pearce


Class 4:



(prints up to 7" x 5")




Orchis italica


Tony Hughes


Class 5:


'Orchidaceous Landscape'

(prints up to A4)



Dactylorhiza fuchsii


Tony Hughes

Class 6:


'Group of Plants'

(prints up to A4)



Dactylorhiza venusta


Alan Gendle


Class 7:


'Whole Plant'

(prints up to A4)



Spiranthes ramonzoffiana


Nigel Johnson


Class 8:



(prints up to A4)



Spiranthes ramonzoffiana


Nigel Johnson


Class 9:


'Orchidaceous Landscape'

(digital image)



Orchis italica


Graham Giles


Class 10:


'Group of Plants'

(digital image)



Orchis ustulata


Graham Giles



Class 11:


'Whole Plant'

(digital image)



Epipactis purpurea var. rosea


Graham Giles


Class 12:



(digital image)


Epipogium aphyllum

Colin Scrutton

Class 13:


Novice Class

(prints up to A4)




Ophrys scolopax

Karen Gregory


Maren Talbot Trophy Winner






Epipogium aphyllum

Colin Scrutton




Click on the following links to see the first prize winning photographs for the Photographic Competitions in   2010   2009, 20082007, 2006,  2005, 2004, 2003200220012000 and  1999  

HOS Plant Show

The following link will take you to details of the Rules and Classes. Please note that in the multi-pot classes not all the pots may have been shown.

Entry form for the Plant Show.

HOS Annual Plant Show 2013
Click here to go to a new style web page with photographs of winners' plants

HOS Annual Plant Show 2012

Here are photographs of the first prize winning plants from the HOS Annual Plant Show, which was held during the Spring Meeting at Kidlington

Thanks to Mike Gasson for finding time to point his digital camera at the winning plants shown below and to Brian Walker for acting as the judge

All pictures have been provided by HOS members, who retain the copyright to their pictures.

None of the pictures may be reproduced without the photographer's permission.

The RHS Banksian Medal was awarded to Barry Tatersall

Class 2:


3 pots native European (not native to Britain) orchids, distinct varieties




                                        Anacamptis boryi  x papilionacea                   Serapias bergonii                              Ophrys candica


Barry Tattersall


Class 3:


3 pots  non-European hardy orchids, distinct varieties




Pleione Shantung 'Ducat'                              Pleione  'Piton'                                 Pleione Alishan 'Merlin' 


Malcolm Brownsword



Class 5:

One pot
native British orchid

Anacamptis laxiflora

Barry Tattersall


Class 6:


One pot

native European (not native to Britain) orchid




Serapias olbia x Anacamptis morio


Alan Blackman

Class 7:


One pot

non-European hardy orchid




Satyrium corifolium

Andrew Bannister


Class 9:


One pot

Orchis, Anacamptis or Neotinea



Anacamptis papilionacea


Richard Manuel

Class 11: &  BEST IN SHOW


One pot


Serapias xgodferyi
(Serapias neglecta x cordigera)

Barry Tatersall

Class 12:


 One pot



Cypripedium fasciolatum


Barry Tattersall

 Class 13:


One pot




Calanthe Tanake hybrid


Malcolm Brownsword

 Class 14:


One pot


Pleione formosana 'Snowcap'

Malcolm Brownsword




Click on the following links to see photographs of the class winning from the Plant Shows in 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 200320022001 and  2000  

Photographs of British Orchids

Follow the links below to see the orchid of your choice or browse thumbnails of the photographs in the HOS Gallery. To return to this index, it is best to use the 'BACK' button on your browser menu bar, or select 'Photographs' from the contents table on the left.

Thanks to the generosity of many members, we are now displaying photographs of the majority of species of British Orchids, plus several sub-species and varieties. However, if YOU have a good photograph of a British species or variety that is not included here, or maybe a better picture of something already included, please get in touch with Mike Gasson .

* latest photographs added

Latin names shown in brackets correspond to the names in use prior to the publication, by Professor Richard Bateman and colleagues, of a phylogeny based on DNA sequences, rather than morphological features; see HOS Newsletter October 1998, April 2001 and July 2001.

Please click on the "Back" button of your browser to return.

All pictures have been provided by HOS members, who retain the copyright to their pictures.

None of the pictures may be reproduced without the owner's permission.

BROWSE THUMBNAILS      Species A to G  (may be slow to load)

BROWSE THUMBNAILS       Species H to S  (may be slow to load)

BROWSE THUMBNAILS      Hybrids  (may be slow to load)

BROWSE THUMBNAILS      Pollination  (may be slow to load)

* latest photographs added

Aceras anthropophorum - see Orchis anthropophora

Anacamptis (Orchis) laxiflora  (Lax flowered or 'Jersey' Orchid): Whole plant (Barry Tattersall); Flower spike (Barry Tattersall); Close-up (Tony Hughes)

Anacamptis morio (Orchis morio) (Green-winged or Green-veined Orchid): Location (Tony Hughes); Close-up (Neville Roberts); var. alba (Bill Temple)

Anacamptis pyramidalis (Pyramidal Orchid): Location (Tony Hughes); Whole plant (Stan Jordan); Flower spike (Bill Temple); var. alba (Tony Hughes)

Cephalanthera damasonium (White Helleborine): Whole plant (Stan Jordan); Flower spike (Bill Temple)

Cephalanthera longifolia (Sword-leaved Helleborine): Whole plant (Tony Hughes); Flower spike (Simon Tarrant); Close-up (Tony Hughes)

Cephalanthera rubra (Red Helleborine): Whole plant (Bill Temple); Close-up (Bill Temple)

Coeloglossum viride - see Dactylorhiza viridis

Corallorhiza trifida (Coral-root Orchid): Whole plant (Steve Davidson); Whole plant (Alan Gendle)

Cypripedium calceolus (Lady's Slipper Orchid): Whole plant Barry Tattersall; Whole plant (Graham Giles); Close-up (Tony Hughes)

Dactylorhiza ebudensis (Hebridean Marsh Orchid): Whole plant (Steve Davidson)

Dactylorhiza fuchsii (Common Spotted Orchid): Flower spikes (Bill Temple); var. alba (Tony Hughes); "Dagger lipped" form (Patrick Marks)

Dactylorhiza fuchsii var. rhodochila: Flower spikes  (Graham Giles); Flower spike (Patrick Marks);  Close-up (Graham Giles); Close-up (Patrick Marks)

Dactylorhiza fuchsii var. cornubiensis: Flower spike (Stan Jordan); Flower spike (Stan Jordan)

Dactylorhiza incarnata (Early Marsh Orchid): Whole plant (Stan Jordan); Flower spike (Tony Hughes); Close-up (Tony Hughes)

Dactylorhiza incarnata ssp. coccinea (Early Marsh Orchid, dune form): Flower spike (Tony Hughes); Close-up (Tony Hughes)

Dactylorhiza incarnata ssp. cruenta (Blood-red Early Marsh Orchid or Flecked Marsh Orchid); Whole plant (Barry Tattersall); Whole plant (Kevin Joynes); Flower spike (Barry Tattersall)

Dactylorhiza incarnata ssp. ochroleuca (Early Marsh Orchid, yellow form): Flower spike (Bill Temple); Flower spike (Stan Jordan)

Dactylorhiza incarnata var. leucantha (Early Marsh Orchid, white form): Whole plant* (Patrick Marks); Flower spike* (Patrick Marks)

Dactylorhiza incarnata var. pulchella (Early Marsh Orchid, purple form): Flower spike (Tony Hughes); var. alba (Richard Robinson)

Dactylorhiza occidentalis var. kerryensis (Irish Marsh Orchid): Whole plants (Kevin Joynes)

Dactylorhiza maculata (Heath Spotted Orchid): Flower spike (Bill Temple); Whole plant (Tony Hughes); var. rhodochila (Tony Hughes)

Dactylorhiza praetermissa (Southern Marsh Orchid): Whole plant (Bill Temple); Flower spike (Bill Temple);  hyperchromic form Whole plant (Stan Jordan); Close-up (Stan Jordan)

Dactylorhiza purpurella (Northern Marsh Orchid): Whole plant (Alan Gendle); Flower spike (Tony Hughes); var. atrata (hyperchromic form); Flower spike (Richard Robinson); Close-up (Richard Robinson)

Dactylorhiza traunsteinerioides (Narrow-leaved Marsh Orchid); Whole plant (Alan Gendle), White flowered form Flower spike (Stan Jordan)

Dactylorhiza traunsteinerioides ssp. lapponica (Lapland marsh orchid); Whole plant (Kevin Joynes); Close-up (Alan Gendle)

Dactylorhiza (Coeloglossum) viridis  (Frog Orchid): Whole plant (Tony Hughes); Plants* (Brian Hodgkin); Flower spike (Tony Hughes); Close-up* (Brian Hodgkin)

Epipactis atrorubens (Dark Red Helleborine): Whole plant (Tony Hughes); Close-up (Tony Hughes)

Epipactis dunensis (Dune Helleborine): Flower spike (Tony Hughes); Close-up (Bill Temple)

Epipactis helleborine (Broad-leaved Helleborine): Whole plant (Tony Hughes); Flower spike (Simon Tarrant); green flowered form Close-up (John Spencer); var. albifolia  Whole plant (Bill Temple); Close-up (Bill Temple)

Epipactis leptochila (Narrow-lipped Helleborine): Close-up (Bill Temple)

Epipactis palustris (Marsh Helleborine): Flower spike (Tony Hughes); Close-up (Bill Temple); var. ochroleuca; Flower spike (Graham Giles);  var. purpurea; Close-up (John Devries)

Epipactis phyllanthes (Green Helleborine): Close-up (Graham Giles); Close-up (John Spencer)

Epipactis purpurata (Violet Helleborine): Whole plant (Tony Hughes); Close-up (Tony Hughes); var. rosea Whole plant (Graham Giles); Close-up (Graham Giles)

Epipactis sancta (Lindisfarne Helleborine): Flower spike (Bill Temple); Close-up (Bill Temple)

Epipogium aphyllum (Ghost Orchid): Whole plant (Barry Tattersall); Flower spike (Barry Tattersall); Close-up (Nigel Johnson); Close-up (Tony Hughes)

Goodyera repens (Creeping Ladies' Tresses): Colony (Patrick Marks); Close-up (Graham Giles)

Gymnadenia borealis (former G. conopsea var. borealis) (Heath Fragrant Orchid): Flower spike (Bill Temple); Flower spike (pale form) (Patrick Marks)

Gymnadenia conopsea (Fragrant Orchid): Flower spikes (Stan Jordan); var. alba Flower spike (Tony Hughes); Bi-coloured form (Alan Gendle)

Gymnadenia densiflora (former G. conopsea var. densiflora) (Marsh Fragrant Orchid): Flower spike (Tony Hughes)

Hammarbya paludosa (Bog Orchid): Location (Tony Hughes), Whole plant (Tony Hughes); Close-up (Tony Hughes); Pseudobulbs (Tony Hughes)

Herminium monorchis (Musk Orchid): Group (Mike Gasson); Flower spike (Tony Hughes)

Himantoglossum hircinum (Lizard Orchid): Whole plant (Tony Hughes); Flower spike (Stan Jordan); Flower bud (Tony Hughes)

Liparis loeselii (Narrow-leaved Fen Orchid): Whole plant (Graham Giles); ssp. ovata Whole plant (Tony Hughes);  Close-up (Tony Hughes)

Listera cordata see Neottia cordata

Listera ovata see Neottia ovata

Neotinea maculata (Dense flowered or 'Burren' Orchid): Whole plant (Graham Giles); Flower spike (Graham Giles)

Neotinea (Orchis) ustulata  (Burnt-tip Orchid): Flower spikes (Tony Hughes); Close-up (Tony Hughes); var. albiflora Group of plants (Barry Tattersall); Whole plant (Graham Giles); Flower spike (Graham Giles)

Neottia (Listera) cordata  (Lesser Twayblade): Whole plant (Patrick Marks); Flower spike (red form, Steve Davidson): Flower spike (green form, Graham Giles)

Neottia nidus-avis (Bird's-nest Orchid): Whole plant (Stan Jordan); Flower spike (Bill Temple); var. pallida: Flower spike (Barry Tattersall)

Neottia (Listera) ovata  (Twayblade): Whole plant (Tony Hughes); Flower spike (Bill Temple); Close-up (Patrick Marks); Close-up (dark form) (Patrick Marks); Form with extra leaf (John Spencer)

Ophrys apifera (Bee Orchid): Flower spike (Bill Temple); Close-up (Tony Hughes); Bee/Wasp anomaly (Colin Clay); var. belgaricum (Alan Gendle); var. bicolor (Peter Sheasby); var. bicolor (Tony Hughes); var. bicolor (Richard Manuel); var. chlorantha  Flower spike (Graham Giles); Close-up (Graham Giles); var. flavescens (Graham Giles); var. freibergensis (Tony Hughes); var. trollii  (Bill Temple); var. fulvofusca (Peter Revell)

Ophrys fuciflora / Ophrys holoserica (Late Spider Orchid): Whole plant (Duncan McCree); Close-up (Bill Temple)

Ophrys insectifera (Fly Orchid): Flower spike (Tony Hughes); Close-up (Tony Hughes); yellow form (Graham Giles); var. ochroleuca Flower spike (Barry Tattersall); Close-up (Barry Tattersall)

Ophrys sphegodes (Early Spider Orchid): Whole plant (Tony Hughes); Close-up (Tony Hughes); Close-up (Bill Temple)

Orchis (Aceras) anthropophora  (Man Orchid): Flower spike (Ian Rogers); Close-up (Tony Hughes)

Orchis laxiflora  see Anacamptis laxiflora

Orchis mascula (Early Purple Orchid): Group of plants (Tony Hughes); Close-up (Tony Hughes); White variant (Kevin Joynes) Close-up (John Spencer); Red variant  (Patrick Marks):  Pink variant  (Stan Jordan) 

Orchis militaris (Military Orchid): Group (Graham Giles); Flower spike (Tony Hughes)

Orchis morio  see Anacamptis morio

Orchis purpurea (Lady Orchid): Whole plant (Ian Rogers); Flower spike (Ian Rogers); Close-up (Tony Hughes); var. alba Flower spike (Tony Hughes)

Orchis simia (Monkey Orchid): Whole plant (Stan Jordan); Flower spike (Tony Hughes); Close-up (Tony Hughes)

Orchis ustulata  see Neotinea ustulata

Platanthera bifolia (Lesser Butterfly Orchid): Whole plant (Tony Hughes); Close-up (Tony Hughes)

Platanthera chlorantha (Greater Butterfly Orchid): Flower spike (Ian Rogers); Close-up (Tony Hughes)

Pseudorchis albida (Small White Orchid): Whole plant (Patrick Marks); Flower spike (Graham Giles)

Serapias parviflora (Small-flowered Tongue Orchid): Whole plant (Stan Jordan); Flower spike (Stan Jordan)

Spiranthes romanzoffiana (Irish Ladies' Tresses):  Flower spike (Richard Manuel); Close-up (Steve Davidson)

Spiranthes spiralis (Autumn Ladies' Tresses): Leaves (Roger Grier); Group of plants (Tony Hughes); Close-up (Tony Hughes)

British Orchid Hybrids

Many species of orchids are closely related to each other and occasionally manage to interbreed, producing natural hybrids. Often hybrid will have characteristics intermediate between its two parents and sometimes will be very robust ("hybrid vigour"), but identification may require inspired guesswork! Most natural hybrids are "intrageneric", meaning that both parents are members of the same genus. However, occasionally one may find an "intergeneric" (or "bigeneric") hybrid, where the parents come from different genera. Several conditions must be fulfilled for a hybrid to occur. Firstly, both parents must be in flower at the same time, and must grow sufficiently close for a pollinator to make the journey between them. Secondly, some creature must carry pollen from one parent to the other - but the culprit may not necessarily be the normal pollinator of either species. Thirdly, pollination is only likely if the chromosomes of both parents are sufficiently similar; this is probably the greatest barrier to the formation of intergeneric hybrids. It is interesting to note that the recent reclassification of orchids by Richard Bateman and colleagues has not only reduced the number of known "intergeneric" hybrids, but also provided an insight into why certain other possible hybrids do not occur.

It is intended to expand this section as more photographs become available - so all members of the Hardy Orchid Society are encouraged to contribute photographs of natural hybrids between British orchids. While it would be nice if the pictures were taken in the British Isles, we are initially happy to accept photographs taken abroad of hybrids that could occur here. The identification of the parents of all the hybrids illustrated here have been provided by the individual photographers, who retain their copyright.


* = latest photographs added

All pictures have been provided by HOS members, who retain the copyright to their pictures.

None of the pictures may be reproduced without the owner's permission.

Intrageneric Hybrids

Cephalanthera damasonium x Cephalanthera longifolia (White x Sword-leaved): Whole plant (Tony Hughes)

Dactylorhiza fuchsii x Dactylorhiza incarnata (Common Spotted x  Early Marsh Orchid): Flower spike (Les Lewis)

Dactylorhiza fuchsii x Dactylorhiza maculata (Common Spotted x Heath Spotted Orchid): Flower spikes & Close-up (Graham Giles & Patrick Marks)

Dactylorhiza fuchsii x Dactylorhiza praetermissa (Common Spotted x Southern Marsh Orchid): Group of plants (Tony Hughes); Close-up (Bill Temple); Close-up (Bill Temple); Close-up (Bill Temple);

Dactylorhiza fuchsii x Dactylorhiza purpurella (Common Spotted x Northern Marsh Orchid): Whole plant  (Barry Tattersall); Flower spike (Graham Giles); Flower spike (Bill Temple); Flower spike (Patrick Marks)

Dactylorhiza incarnata var. coccinea  x  Dactylorhiza praetermissa (Early Marsh Orchid (red form) x Southern Marsh Orchid): Flower spike (John Spencer)

Dactylorhiza incarnata var. pulchella x  Dactylorhiza maculata (Early Marsh Orchid (purple form) x Heath Spotted Orchid): Whole plant (Barry Tattersall);  Flower spike (Barry Tattersall)

Dactylorhiza incarnata x Dactylorhiza purpurella (Early Marsh Orchid x Northern Marsh Orchid) :Flower spike (John Spencer)

Dactylorhiza incarnata var. pulchella x Dactylorhiza purpurella (Early Marsh Orchid (purple form) x Northern Marsh Orchid): Flower spike (John Spencer)

Dactylorhiza maculata x Dactylorhiza praetermissa (Heath Spotted Orchid x Southern Marsh Orchid): Flower spike (John Spencer)

Dactylorhiza maculata x Dactylorhiza traunsteinerioides ssp. lapponica  (Heath Spotted Orchid x Lapland Marsh Orchid): Flower spike  (Alan Gendle)

Dactylorhiza purpurella x Dactylorhiza maculata  (Northern Marsh Orchid x Heath Spotted Orchid): Flower spikes (Patrick Marks): Close-up (Patrick Marks)

Dactylorhiza traunsteinerioides ssp. lapponica  x Dactylorhiza fuchsii  (Lapland Marsh Orchid x Common Spotted Orchid): Flower spike (Alan Gendle)

Dactylorhiza (Coeloglossum) viridis x Dactylorhiza fuchsii var. hebridensis (Frog x Hebridean Spotted Orchid): Whole plant (Barry Tattersall); Flower spike (Barry Tattersall); Flower spike (Patrick Marks)

Dactylorhiza (Coeloglossum) viridis x Dactylorhiza fuchsii (Frog x Common Spotted Orchid): Whole plant (Barry Tattersall); Flower spike (Barry Tattersall); Flower spike (John Spencer); Flower spike (Peter Revell)

Dactylorhiza (Coeloglossum) viridis x Dactylorhiza incarnata ssp. coccinea (Frog x Dune Early Marsh Orchid): Flower spike (Barry Tattersall)

Ophrys apifera x Ophrys fuciflora (Bee x Late Spider Orchid): Close-up (Bill Temple)

Ophrys apifera x Ophrys insectifera (Bee x Fly Orchid): Flower spike (Graham Giles); Close-up (Graham Giles)

Orchis (Aceras) anthropophora x Orchis simia (Man x Monkey Orchid): Whole plant  (Barry Tattersall); Flower spike (Barry Tattersall)

Orchis militaris x Orchis purpurea (Military x Lady): Whole plant (Tony Hughes); Flower spike (Tony Hughes); Close-up (Tony Hughes)

Orchis purpurea  x Orchis simia (Lady x Monkey): Flower spike (Mike Gasson); Flower spike (Bill Temple); Flower spike (Mike Gasson)

Platanthera bifolia x Platanthera chlorantha (Lesser x Greater Butterfly Orchid): Flower spike (Barry Tattersall)


Bigeneric Hybrids

Dactylorhiza fuchsii x Gymnadenia borealis (Common Spotted x Heath Fragrant Orchid): Flower spike (Patrick Marks); Flower spike (Patrick Marks); Flower spike (Patrick Marks); Flower spike (Patrick Marks)

Dactylorhiza fuchsii x Gymnadenia conopsea (Common Spotted x Fragrant Orchid): Flower spike (Tony Hughes)

Dactylorhiza incarnata x Gymnadenia borealis (Early Marsh x Heath Fragrant Orchid): ssp incarnata Flower spike (Patrick Marks); ssp. pulchella Flower spike (Alan Gendle)

Dactylorhiza maculata x Gymnadenia borealis (Heath Spotted x Heath Fragrant Orchid): Flower spike (Barry Tattersall & Patrick Marks)

Dactylorhiza praetermissa x Gymnadenia densiflora (Southern marsh x Marsh fragrant orchid): Flower spike (Stan Jordan)

Dactylorhiza purpurella x Gymnadenia borealis (Northern Marsh x Heath Fragrant Orchid): Flower spike (John Spencer)

Gymnadenia borealis x Pseudorchis albida (Heath Fragrant Orchid x Small White Orchid): Flower spike (Patrick Marks)

Orchid Pollination

One particularly fascinating aspect of orchids is the way so many different pollination mechanisms have evolved. Flowers with spurs generally attract insects seeking nectar, though some species may cheat the insects by failing to produce nectar. While the insect is attempting to reach the nectar, it comes into contact with pads of "super-glue" joined to the pollinia. When the insect moves on, the pollinia remain attached to it, their stalks bending so that pollen is in the correct position to make contact with the stigmatic surface of the next flower visited. 

Long spurs, as in Anacamptis pyramidalis and Platanthera species, match the long tongues of butterflies and moths, while shorter spurs of many Orchis and Dactylorhiza species are a good match for the shorter tongues of bees. The nectar-bearing cups near the base of the lips of various Epipactis species are fine for wasps. The most elaborate evolution may have occurred in orchids such as Ophrys, where the flower of each species has evolved to mimic the female of some type of insect, using scent and/or tactile means. The males are deceived into attempting to copulate with the flowers, during which the pollinia become attached to some part of the insects anatomy. 

Some Ophrys also appear to resort to self-pollination if no insect pollinators are present at the appropriate time. One of the consequences of self-pollination is that genetic mutations are passed on to all offspring of the mutant parent, thus giving rise to many stable populations, such as the "Wasp" orchid (Ophrys apifera var. trollii).

In the mid-nineteenth century Charles Darwin wrote a most detailed book about the subject entitled "The Various Contrivances by which Orchids are Fertilised by Insects" (for details of a modern reprint see the Book List). One of his most famous predictions was the existence of a moth with a tongue long enough to reach the nectar in the enormously long (11" or 28 cm) spurs of  Angraecum sesquipedale - forty two years later the moth Xanthopan morganii praedicta was discovered and Darwin was vindicated.

The action photographs in this section provide excellent illustrations of the way in which different pollinators are suited to particular orchid species, and how pollinia become attached to the pollinators.

All pictures have been provided by HOS members, who retain the copyright to their pictures.

None of the pictures may be reproduced without the owner's permission.

Anacamptis pyramidalis (Pyramidal Orchid): Burnet Moth (Tony Hughes); Burnet Moths (Tony Hughes); Burnet Moth (Tony Hughes)

Dactylorhiza fuchsii (Common Spotted Orchid): Pollinia (Tony Hughes); Bumble Bee (Bill Temple)

Dactylorhiza praetermissa (Southern Marsh Orchid): Bumble Bee (Tony Hughes)

Epipactis helleborine (Broad-leaved Helleborine): Wasp (Tony Hughes); Wasp (Tony Hughes)

Epipactis purpurata (Violet Helleborine): Wasp (Bill Temple)

Epipactis palustris (Marsh Helleborine): Hoverfly (Bill Temple); Hoverfly (Bill Temple);  Honey Bee  (Bill Temple);   Wasp  (Bill Temple)

Gymnadenia conopsea (Fragrant Orchid): Hummingbird Hawkmoth (Bill Temple)

Himantoglossum hircinum (Lizard Orchid):  Bee (Bill Temple); Bee (Jim Ford)

Ophrys apifera (Bee Orchid): Hoverfly (Richard Manuel)

Ophrys apifera (Bee Orchid): Ready to self-pollinate (Tony Hughes)

Ophrys insectifera (Fly Orchid): Wasp (Barry Tattersall)

Spiranthes spiralis (Autumn Lady's Tresses) Buff-tailed bumblebee (Bill Temple); Buff-tailed bumblebee (Bill Temple)

HOS Committee


President Richard Bateman
Chairman Celia Wright Celia Wright
Vice-chairman Vacant  
Secretary Richard Robinson Richard Robinson
Treasurer John Wallington John Wallington
Membership Secretary Moira Tarrant Moira Tarrant
Meetings Secretaries

Betty Barber (Kidlington)

Ken Kitchen (Leeds)

Betty Barber (Capel Manor)

Betty Barber

Ken Kitchen

Betty Barber

Plant Show Secretary  David Hughes

David Hughes

Journal Editor Mike Gasson Mike Gasson
Journal Distribution Iain Wright Iain Wright
Conservation Officer Bill Temple Bill Temple
Publicity Officer Simon Tarrant Simon Tarrant
Seed Bank Alan Leck Alan Leck 
Website Officer Mike Gasson Mike Gasson
Field Meeting Coordinator Malcolm Brownsword Malcolm Brownsword
BOC Representative Iain & Celia Wright Celia Wright  Iain Wright


How to Join

The Hardy Orchid Society is always pleased to welcome new members. Members automatically receive four copies of the Journal per year and are entitled to take part in all HOS activities. 

The membership year runs from 1st May to 30th April. Anyone joining after 1st February can choose whether they join for the current year (and receive the year’s back issues of the journal) or for the following year (and receive 15 months membership for the price of 12 months).

To Join the Hardy Orchid Society Please Refer to the NEW WEBSITE by clicking here

Conservation Code



The HARDY ORCHID SOCIETY recommends that its members should NOT buy, sell or exhibit orchids that have been collected from the wild.


The HARDY ORCHID SOCIETY Journal will not accept any articles or advertisements from sources convicted of illeglly digging orchids.


Members of the HARDY ORCHID SOCIETY may not show or sell plants removed from the wild under the auspices of the Society.


The HARDY ORCHID SOCIETY will not accept membership applications or membership renewals from persons convicted of illegally digging orchids.


Orchids growing in the wild should not be rescued or relocated without the appropriate permission (common, non-Schedule 8 (see below), orchids normally require only the permission of the landowners at source and destination). If in doubt ask the Conservation Officer, who may be able to assist or advise on the best time and method for relocation.


Orchid seed should not be collected in the UK without the appropriate permission (common, non-Schedule 8 (see below), orchids normally require only the permission of the landowner).



1.           The HOS appoints a Conservation Officer whose principal role is to inform and advise members and external bodies on orchid conservation issues and to co-ordinate the practical conservation activities of the society.

2.       In order to reduce the pressure on populations of wild orchids and to safeguard the future of rare and endangered species, the HOS encourages the propagation of hardy orchids from legitimately acquired material and the sale of surplus legally propagated plants.

3.           Members should be aware that it is an offence to collect wild orchid seed without appropriate permission. In most of the UK the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 applies (in Scotland the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004 takes precedence). For species listed in Schedule 8 (see below) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act, permission to collect seed can be given only by Natural England (or the equivalent bodies for Scotland and Wales); for all other species, only the landowner’s permission must be obtained. In order to be prepared for possible changes in legislation it may be wise to ensure that documentation exists to prove that the collection of seed or other material was legal.

4.           The HOS is keen that orchids threatened by change of land use should be relocated to suitable safe locations.  Members are encouraged to inform the Conservation Officer whenever native orchid sites are known to be under threat. Where threats cannot be averted, the Conservation Officer (or nominated deputy) will normally seek authority to relocate the threatened plants. Members must never attempt to rescue or relocate wild orchids without first obtaining the appropriate permissions and, if possible, consulting the HOS Conservation Officer; the latter is essential if there is a desire to use the HOS name.

5.           The HOS supports the re-introduction of native orchid species to appropriate wild sites, and has undertaken several such projects. Members should consult the Conservation Officer before attempting any re-introduction project.

6.           The HOS opposes all activities that may contravene national or international law relating to plants. The HOS recommends that its members should NOT buy, sell or exhibit orchids that have been collected from the wild. The HOS will not allow anyone convicted of offences relating to wild plants to join the Society or to renew their subscription if they are already a member.

7.       Seed donated to the seed bank should be sent either with a copy of the document permitting collection of the seed or with a clear statement that the seed has been taken from plants growing on the sender’s property.

Examples of Conservation Activities

1. Our first project, many years ago, was to raise common native orchids for introduction into a protected area in Dudley Zoo. This gave very encouraging results.
2. Several HOS members were 'growing on' Cypripedium calceolus seedlings, in collaboration with the Sainsbury Orchid Project at Kew, the majority of which were destined for re-introduction to northern locations where they once flourished. 
3. Relocation of threatened orchids - already over 2000 plants have been relocated from several sites, and a great deal of knowledge has been accumulated.
4. Raising species from seed -  Military orchids (Orchis militaris) with BBOWT (under an English Nature/Natural England permit)
5. Raising species from seed - Young’s helleborine (Epipactis youngiana) with Plantlife and the Falkirk Area Biodiversity Partnership (under a Scottish Natural Heritage permit)
6. Raising species from seed - Metlesic’s barlia (Himantoglossum metlesicsianum) with the GOC (Canary Islands Orchid Lovers Group) (under permit from the Cabinet of the Government of the Canary Islands).
7. Raising species from seed - We are about to start another project for the Government of the Isle of Man.

All the seed raising projects are subject to stringent conditions and are only undertaken by those volunteers who have considerable experience in successfully raising orchids from seed.


Schedule 8 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act covers the following orchids, which require permits from Natural England (or the equivalent bodies for Scotland and Wales) for the collection of seed or samples. Permission to collect seed or samples from Schedule 8 species is unlikely to be given to an individual.

Cephalanthera rubra

Red Helleborine

Cypripedium calceolus

Lady's Slipper Orchid

Dactylorhiza lapponica 

Lapland Marsh Orchid  (actually a form of D. traunsteinerioides)

Epipactis youngiana  

Young's Helleborine (actually a form of E. helleborine)

Epipogium aphyllum

Ghost Orchid

Himantoglossum hircinum 

Lizard Orchid

Liparis loeselii 

Fen Orchid

Ophrys fuciflora     

Late Spider Orchid

Ophrys sphegodes 

Early Spider Orchid

Orchis militaris

Military Orchid

Orchis simia

Monkey Orchid


RED LIST  of threatened orchids in Great Britain website http://www.iucnredlist.org/

Epipogium aphyllum Ghost Orchid Extinct
Spiranthes aestivalis Summer Lady's Tresses Extinct
Cephalanthera rubra Red Helleborine Critically endangered
Cypripedium calceolus Lady's Slipper Orchid Critically endangered
Epipactis sancta Lindisfarne Helleborine Endangered
Liparis loeselii Fen Orchid Endangered
Neotinea ustulata Burnt Orchid Endangered
Orchis anthropophora Man Orchid Endangered
Orchis purpurea Lady Orchid Endangered
Cephalanthera damasonium White Helleborine Vulnerable
Cephalanthera longifolia Sword-leaved Helleborine Vulnerable
Corallorhiza trifida Coralroot Orchid Vulnerable
Dactylorhiza ebudensis Hebridean Marsh Orchid Vulnerable
Dactylorhiza viridis Frog Orchid Vulnerable
Herminium monorchis Musk Orchid Vulnerable
Ophrys fuciflora Late Spider Orchid Vulnerable
Ophrys insectifera Fly Orchid Vulnerable
Orchis militaris Military Orchid Vulnerable
Orchis simia Monkey Orchid Vulnerable
Platanthera bifolia Lesser Butterfly Orchid Vulnerable
Pseudorchis albida Small White Orchid Vulnerable
Anacamptis  (Orchis) morio Green Winged Orchid Near Threatened
Himantoglossum hircinum Lizard Orchid Near Threatened
Platanthera chlorantha Greater Butterfly Orchid Near Threatened
Spiranthes spiralis Autumn Lady's Tresses Near Threatened


The HOS Journal/Newsletter

Hardy Orchid Society members receive a full colour quarterly Journal with articles on a wide range of orchid topics of interest to experts and beginners.

If you are thinking of joining the Hardy Orchid Society, you can ask for a sample copy of the Journal. Just send a stamped (ordinary 2nd class) self-addressed C5 envelope to:

Simon Tarrant

Hardy Orchid Society

Bumbys Fox Road





Please enclose a note of your email address so we can confirm receipt.


In its early days, the Journal was called the Hardy Orchid Society Newsletter. As the Society grew, photos were included, and colour was added from 2001. Continuing this process of regular improvement, from October 2003 colour has been included throughout, complete with a colour cover. The publication is now the "Journal of the Hardy Orchid Society".

The Journal contains reports on recent happenings, announcements of forthcoming events and major articles. These cover an enormous range of topics, from conservation activity to propagation techniques, from holiday reports to cultivation advice, as well as letters and adverts from suppliers of plants and sundries. If it is worth writing about, it will be in the Journal!

The Journal Editor relies on the members to provide articles, so GET WRITING!  Follow this link for some simple Instructions to Authors. The HOS Committee would greatly value any feedback on the Journal.

Back copies of the Newsletters and Journals are available for a nominal charge from the Journal Distributor (Iain Wright, Iain Wright). A printed cumulative index for the first 8 issues is also available.

Back issues - Journal  (Issues 31 - )

Members               £3.50 per issue or £12 for 4 issues        

Non-members       £5.25 per issue or £16 for 4 issues

Back issues - Newsletter  (Issues 1 - 30)

Members               £2.50 per issue or £8 for 4 issues

Non-members       £3.75 per issue or £12 for 4 issues

Contents of all past issues of the HOS Journal & Newsletter

Cultivation - Propagation from Seed

Page of consumable items for supply to members only.

The Hardy Orchid Society runs seed sowing workshops for members, please contact the Chairman if you are interested in attending a course.

Click on the thumbnails to see larger versions of these marvellous pictures related to propagation.


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Orchid seeds are small - very small! The seed does not have enough stored energy to germinate and grow by itself. In the wild, the seed gains nutrients as a result of being infected by a beneficial fungus which gives up carbohydrate (and possibly other nutrients) and so allows the orchid to grow.

Seed sown into soil around or from the parent plant may stumble across the right fungus. Many people who grow Dactylorhizas in their garden come across seedling plants from time to time in their pots and borders, but it is a bit hit and miss. Better then to do it under controlled conditions in the laboratory?

In order to encourage more people to propagate hardy orchids, the HOS 'Seed and Fungus Banker' (Alan Leck) maintains both a Seed Bank and a Fungus Bank for the benefit of HOS members. The Seed Bank is stocked with surplus seed collected from member's plants, and usually contains an impressive range of varieties. The Fungus Bank includes several of the symbiotic fungi, grown in sterile conditions, that have proved successful in the germination and cultivation of many groups of hardy orchids.

Seed sowing at home

Many members of HOS sow orchid seed in home laboratories (otherwise known as kitchens or spare rooms) with some success! Various back issues of the HOS Newsletter give excellent detailed advice on how to get started. The following items need to be considered.

Sterile working area: A HEPA filtered laminar flow cabinet is ideal - but hardly likely to be accessible to beginners. Try rigging up a 'glove box' or a modified fish tank on its side. See see HOS Newsletter issue 3.

Autoclave: A pressure cooker to sterilise everything.

Germination/Growing medium: There are two distinct types:

1. Medium based on agar gel and porridge oats with suitable fungi (symbiotic growth).

2. Medium based on agar gel containing nutrients to be used without fungi.

Various recipes are available in books or in HOS Newsletters 2 and 7 (require an accurate means of measuring small weights). Some recipes may be purchased ready-mixed or as solutions, the following website also has lists http://members.cox.net/lmlauman/osp/html/mcsg_database.html.

Sundries: Jars, Petri dishes, chemicals, agar, tools etc - they are all mentioned in the HOS Newsletters.

Fungus and Seed: Many types are available from the HOS Fungus and Seed Bank. Please refer to the Conservation section before thinking of collecting seed which is not obtained from your own land.

Seed Bank Notes and the Seed List can be selected from the menu on the left.


Detailed methods and tips are discussed in HOS Newsletters Nos. 2,  3,  4, 5 and 9.

The following basic steps involved are:


The Hardy Orchid Society has brought together a range of experts on many aspects of the  propagation and cultivation of hardy (and almost hardy) orchids. One of the main objectives of the Hardy Orchid Society, through its meetings and publications, is to spread the knowledge and wisdom of these experts throughout the society. In this way, the pressures on wild populations can be reduced, and more people can come to enjoy the pleasures of growing these marvellous plants. A glance at the HOS Journal/Newsletter indices will convince you of the vast range of information that is now available - and it increases with every new issue!

Nothing can beat the beauty and enchantment of experiencing terrestrial orchids in the wild - so by all means get out there (on holiday or otherwise) and be enchanted. Many of us, however, also like to capture some of that magic and grow them in the open garden or in containers. You are strongly recommended to see the orchid classes in the Alpine garden Society Shows, or come to the HOS AGM in April or May where there is a show of members' plants.

Natural orchid habitats vary and, not surprisingly, so do cultivation requirements. Attempting to mimic the climate and environment from which each species comes is a good start.

Orchids for the Garden

Several orchid varieties suitable for rockeries and borders in British gardens are found among the Dactylorhiza (Marsh Orchids), Epipactis (Helleborines) and Orchis genera. All that these need is a soil that is not too heavy and that does not dry out in the summer. Even better is to grow them in a raised bed or in a large pot or patio tub. There you can give them more attention (use an open compost, do not allow them to dry out, feed them with weak fertiliser, shade them on hot summer days, etc) and move them to show off their majestic spikes of flowers in June /July.

Cold Frame/Cold Greenhouse

With a little protection, the number of different types of orchid suitable for cultivation really does proliferate. For the 'wintergreen' types of orchid - especially those from the Mediterranean area - it is worth equipping yourself with a greenhouse or conservatory with electricity. This allows a simple thermostatically controlled fan heater to keep the compost just above freezing. With careful watering, most of the Mediterranean types of orchid are amenable to cultivation in Britain.

Further Information

The best approach is to join the society, speak to other like-minded people and come to the meetings. Also, the HOS Journal/Newsletter carries many articles on cultivation, and the Book List includes several excellent titles for general reference.


Several members of HOS are prepared to give lectures and slide shows to interested Clubs and Societies. Many of the lectures are available on orchid-related subjects, but some cover wider interests!

An email or SAE to the people listed below should get you further details.


Simon Andrew,

46 Middle Path,


Somerset, TA18 8BE

Many aspects of European orchids, general or detailed, with slides. £25 for charity. Travel costs negotiable Within 1 hour's drive of Crewkerne.

Own projector etc.

Alan Dash,

Lower Lakes,

Suckley Knowle,


Worcs., WR6 5RH

Hardy orchid cultivation; Propagation of hardy orchids; etc £25 + 15p/mile

Own equipment.

Within ~50 miles of home.

Available most of year


Tony Hughes,

8 Birchwood Road,


Worcs., WR14 1LD


DIGITAL: Bernese Oberland; Corsica; Dolomites; European orchids; Sardinia; SW Turkey.

SLIDES: Algarve; Austrian Alps; Crete; French Alps; French Pyrenees; Gargano; Mallorca; N & S Cyprus; Sicily; Slovenia.

£20 + 50p per person + 30p per mile.

Own equipment.

Within ~100 miles of Malvern.
Available Sept – March

Preview all talks at www.tonyhughes.eu.pn


Jeff Hutchings
74 Croston Road
01995 605537
Growing Hardy Orchids in a British Garden
Growing Cypripediums
Developing an Orchid Meadow


£45 plus fuel and accommodation if necessary
Any venue


Own equipment.

Any distance.

David Porter,

48 Penny Park Lane,

Coventry, CV6 2GT

British orchids in the wild £20 + 15p/mile  

Maren Talbot, 

4 Hazel Close,


Bucks SL7 3PW

Native Orchids of Britain & Ireland

Cypripediums & their cultivation

Pleiones & their Cultivation

£40 + 25p/mile Own equipment.



Where to buy

While it is now possible to buy a few types of hardy orchids through the catalogues of general suppliers of bulbs, the range of varieties is very limited. The HOS Journal regularly prints advertisements from approved suppliers, most of whom offer a much wider range of varieties. The majority of these plants have been grown from seed, using techniques that have been developed largely by HOS members. However, if you want to see what you are getting, then come along to one of the HOS meetings, where several sales tables are usually present to tempt you! 

The Conservation Officer can advise on legitimate sources in Great Britain.

Please note that while HOS will only accept advertisements from companies that we believe supply ONLY legally obtained plants, many companies (particularly abroad) are digging orchids from the wild and selling them, often while claiming that they are seed raised. These firms then supply legitimate companies with these illegal plants claiming that they are seed-raised. If you find any rare or unusual orchids for sale they are probably illegal!

Links to other Websites

The HOS Committee has decided not to provide links to individual Internet websites involved in the commercial production or sale of hardy orchids. Our Journal does however contain advertisements from companies which we believe sell only artificially propagated orchids. Although websites such as Orchid Mall do carry advertisements from many companies, it should be noted that they include links to websites belonging to convicted orchid diggers as well as legitimate propagators of orchids.

The AHO (Arbeitskreise Heimische Orchideen) is the principle Native Orchid Working Group in Germany. Their website includes photographs, information about various publications, news etc., (in German).

The AGS (Alpine Garden Society) shares many interests of HOS members. Its superbly illustrated quarterly magazine regularly features articles on hardy orchids, both in the wild and in cultivation.

ANOS (Australian Native Orchid Society) provides links to a large number of affiliated local websites. Some of these societies advertise tubers (all cultivated - not collected from the wild) for sale to their members.

Austrian Orchids (OOS) this is the website of the Austrian Orchid Protection Network, there is an introduction in English and a downloadable species list in addition to the pages in German.

The Canadian Orchid Congress site covers both hardy and tropical orchids, with very comprehensive links to orchid websites worldwide.

The 'Criocere'  site now hi-jacks your browser and is therefore no longer linked.  

Dutch Working group on European orchids - at present this website is mainly in Dutch with a few words in English and in German. It contains a forum and a downloadable journal which contains good photographs although at present only the Summary is in English. It is possible that in the future pages in English will be added.

European Orchids Photographed is Frank Verhart's website. In addition to many photographs of orchids, it includes a comprehensive set of links to hardy orchid websites throughout Europe.

Frosch's Cypripediums - Werner Frosch is a well known breeder and hybridist of Cypripediums. His personal website features cultural hints plus information on a single Cypripedium which is changed monthly.

Greek orchids - an interesting site with some good photographs and a list containing many species.

Hartslock - Chris Raper's website

Japanese wild orchids - CalypsoLip -  an interesting site showing thumbnails of the Japanese orchids , author Hiroshi Nakayama.

Japanese wild orchids and other plants - Plants and Japan - an interesting site with photographs of wild plants and cultivars, author Masashi Yamaguchi.

Jay's Key West Orchid Species  (now Internet Orchid Species Photo Encyclopedia) - website is collecting orchid photographs from contributors all over the world. Its "Internet Orchid Encyclopedia"  covers terrestrials and epiphytes, hardy and tender, with comprehensive lists of synonyms.

Native Orchid Conference - although the title implies a conference, this is a society dealing with North American Native Orchids. The society provides an internet message board, publishes a quarterly Journal (modelled on the HOS Journal) and has an annual 4 or 5 day conference. 

The Norwegian Orchid Society supports enthusiasts for both tropical and hardy orchids. It is keen to establish contact with like-minded people elsewhere.

NZNOG (New Zealand Native Orchid Group) - this website contains, among many other excellent pictures of many New Zealand native orchids. In addition, it even features a section on UK orchids including a nice story on Ophrys pollination.

Okinawan Orchis is Tomonubu Sato's website devoted to a single species - Amitostigma lepidum, which is endemic to Okinawa, one of the Ryukyu Islands, which was returned to Japan in the last half of the last century. This site covers many aspects of this orchid, from its wild habitats to propagation, cultivation and the genetics of its variations. The site includes links to many websites on orchids.

Online Orchid Reference - John Trueman's website provides a classified directory of websites dealing with (mainly tropical) orchids.

Orchidmagic - this is the revised website of Sylvia & Bill Temple featuring a wide range of  terrestrial orchid photographs, some tropical orchids,  paintings inspired by orchids, and discussions of propagation, cultivation and wild orchid hybrid issues. Almost all of the orchid photographs are now available at the new location but it is likely to be some time before the site is totally complete (March 09).

Orchid propagation - Svante Malmgren's homepage, in English.

OrchidWire is a useful site providing a classified catalogue of links to orchid websites worldwide.

Pleiones - Lovers of these genus should make a bee-line to the site of Paul Cumbleton. In addition to the gallery, which already contains over 300 superb pictures of species and hybrids, there are sections on cultivation, taxonomy, sources of supply, a complete list of all Pleione hybrids and their parents.. and more!

The 'Orchids of Sicily' website provides descriptions of all the Sicilian species, together with some very good photos.

Slovenske Orchideje - Branko Dolinar has an obvious passion for the native orchids of his country.

Swiss orchids - AGEO website, this site is in German but includes small distribution maps of the species found.

Terrestrial Orchid Forum - I understand that this site is Belgian and is not connected in any way with Heinz Pinkepank's business.

The orchids of the Var Departemant of France are featured in this excellent site, with comprehensive species information, distribution maps and pictures (in French).

The Wildlife Trusts website, through its 'Trusts on-line' page, provides an excellent entry point to the websites of the websites of the County Wildlife Trusts - main guardians of the British heritage of native orchids.

Wild Plant Gallery - The Phillips website which includes orchids.


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Copyright The Hardy Orchid Society. This site was updated on 15 November 2013 .