At the same time of year, and in the same places as you find the Blue Hyacinth, you will discover the Early Purple Orchis.
It is a curious plant, and belongs to a family whose flowers are always strangely shaped.
The flowers grow in a cone-shaped head at the upper end of a stout, juicy stalk. Each flower consists of three purple petals and three purple sepals, and you will not be able to distinguish which are which. These petals or sepals are very irregular in shape. One is broad, and hangs open like a lip. This one has a long purple spur behind. Two smaller petals rise straight up above this lip and form a hood. And the others are shaped in varying ways.
Inside the broad lip with its hood you see a slender column, in which the one stamen as well as the point of the seed-vessel are combined.
The flower is placed at the end of what looks like a twisted purple stalk. This is really the seed-vessel, and where it joins the flower-stem there is always a narrow strip of purple leaf.
The leaves have no stalks. They are broadly strap-shaped with blunt ends, and they have long narrow lines running from base to tip. Each leaf is stained all over with purple spots.
The root of the Early Purple Orchis consists of two egg-shaped knobs, and above these knobs grow many white, worm-like rootlets.
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