Platanthera chlorantha Greater Butterfly-Orchid
You will receive the contents of several seed pods which will contain thousands of seeds. This is a rare chance to obtain fresh seed collected from our meadow. Seed has been responsibly harvested - as we have large populations growing here, taking a small amount will not be detrimental. Platanthera chlorantha is a native UK species growing in ancient woodlands and grassland. It produces two large, glossy, oval shaped, green leaves and beautiful, greenish-white flowers from June to July that are scented of vanilla. Height to 60 cm. Sun to part shade in damp soil. Seeds are slow to germinate and take 4 to 7 years to flower.
GROWING ORCHID SEED PLEASE READ BEFORE PURCHASING
For an orchid seed to develop under natural conditions, the presence of fungi is necessary. The seeds of most plants contain some nourishment that feed the seedling until the leaves appear and are able to produce nourishment themselves. This initial source of nourishment is not to be found in orchid seeds, instead the germinating seed is invaded by a fungus which assists the orchid to obtain its food and afterwards remains in the cells of the underground part of the orchid where it continues to assist in obtaining food. This type of co-existence between fungus and plant is called mycorrhiza.
Orchid seeds are tiny and almost like dust. Seeds can be sown on sterilized nutrient media without the fungus partner. Many sites on the web will give you very good advise on how to do this - try for starters: www.hardyorchidsociety.org.uk. Although the majority of seeds are grown this way it is not impossible to grow these by sowing seeds around the base of another native orchid plant (as the fungus will be present there) or thinly sprinkling the seeds onto undisturbed ground or grassland and simply letting nature take its course. Seeds will not germinate if sown in pots with compost. Seeds are sent in glassine envelopes.