Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Bird's Nest Orchid

Many thanks to Denis McBride of the Glenarm Wildlife Group for these shots of Bird's Nest Orchid. These were taken recently at Straidkilly NNR in Co. Antrim

Bird's-nest Orchid Neottia nidus-avis, unlike most other plants, does not photosynthesise and is instead 'saprophytic', which means all its energy is derived from dead vegetation. It lives in symbiosis with a mycorrhizal fungus that digests vegetation and passes some of the nutrients to the orchid, which in return makes complex chemicals for its partner.