John and Gerry's  Orchids of Britain and Europe

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Great Britain

Orchids may be found in every European country, some such as Greece in large numbers whilst others, particularly those in more northerly latitudes, are found more sparingly. Climate and habitat are perhaps the two most important factors in determining the numbers and species one may expect to find in any given region and some advanced research prior to a trip will help enormously with its ultimate success.

Part of this research should involve an exploration of the internet, where many specialists and amateurs alike, record the species they have found and in what conditions. Exact positions are rarely disclosed and there are sound ecological reasons for this, it should however provide you with a great springboard from which to start your explorations.
The purpose of this section of the site is to provide some broad advice regarding which countries, and the regions within them that offer significant opportunities for the search and discovery of orchid species.

As mentioned earlier, precise locations are not revealed, though we hope sufficient detail is offered to reward the dedicated explorer. We include lists of species that are known to be present in the area under discussion but we should perhaps acknowledge the possibility that there may be errors. The text on this site has been written by us, most of the descriptions being based on our own observations with details added from a range of sources. We have tried to be informative and accurate but there will inevitably be mistakes for which we apologise. One of the primary sources of error is not neccessarily misidentification but confusion as to the correct nomenclature of a species about which experts have differing views. Where possible taxons are listed according to our own studies and the seemingly most popular or widely held professional view.

 Orchids can be found somewhere in Europe almost throughout the year but the most productive period is unsurprisingly Spring and Summer with the southern Mediterranean region such as Crete and Sicily producing the odd species soon after Christmas. In Scandinavia and the Alps the season begins in May and as the snows recede, progresses through the summer into October. It is rarely possible to spend a couple of weeks away and hope to see all the species known to grow in the area. This is another reason to research as thoroughly as possible flowering periods of individual species and select the optimum time for your visit giving you the best opportunity to discover you target species

Both John and I very much hope this gazetteer is helpful and wish you success with your trip.