Western Isles Wildflowers
Western Isles wildflowers is a collection of information about our Hebridean wildflowers including identification hints, traditional herbal uses and general plant lore.
Western Isles Orchids
Our white and green orchids are fairly easy to identify once you know which ones you are likely to see and have a good description or photograph to look at.
The coloured orchids cross-breed (hybridise) very freely, but there are about seven main coloured species here which are fairly easy to distinguish between once you know what you are looking for, and once you can recognise those seven it is hard to stop the mind from looking to see which two are combined in a hybrid, it's a bit like seeing a new baby has her dad's eyes and mum's hair.
If you like detective stories and puzzles you may find the orchid ID pages useful. They are my developing collection of Western Isles orchid notes (any corrections welcomed).
Rumour has it that a few years ago an orchid expert identified 27 different species (including crosses) on Northon machair on the Isle of Harris (there do not however appear to be quite that many species officially listed here!).
Please remember that all our wild orchids are protected by law.
There are changes happening in the names of orchids, to simplify matters as I learn I am staying with one method.
Photograph of an Early Marsh Orchid © Suzanne Harris
Riof Machair - Isle of Lewis - Outer Hebrides (Western Isles)
9th June, 2007