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Pyramidal Orchid Anacamptis pyramidalis

Anacamptis pyramidalis, is a perennial herbaceous plant belonging to the Genus Anacamptis of the family Orchidaceae. The scientific name Anacamptis derives from Greek and means 'bend forward', while the Latin name pyramidalis refers to the pyramidal form of the inflorescence (flower).

This hardy plant reaches on average 10–25 cm in height. The flowers vary in colour from pink to purple, or rarely white, and the scent is described as "foxy", and the flowering period extends from April through July.
 
The flowers are pollinated by butterflies and moths. To ensure the fertilization, their morphology is well adapted to the proboscis of Lepidoptera, especially Euphydryas, Melanargia, Melitaea, Pieris and Zygaena species. The mechanism by which its pairs of pollinia attach themselves to an insect's proboscis was discovered by Charles Darwin and described in his book on the Fertilisation of Orchids.

The dried and ground tuber gives a fine white powder, called salep. This is a very nutritious sweet starchlike substance. It is used in drinks, cereals and in making bread. It is also used medicinally in diets for children and convalescents.

Anacamptis pyramidalis is the County Flower for Isle of Wight.

You can adopt a seed from this species for £250. Your donation will be used towards the work of the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership, ensuring this species is kept safe in the vaults forever, and to collect more species in the future.

In addition to receiving your adoption pack featuring your certificate and photograph of the species (this will be posted to you, or the recipient), you will be invited to the County Flower sponsor's event at the Millennium Seed Bank, Wakehurst where you can meet the staff and see the vaults where your species is stored.

If you have any questions, please contact Jill Taylor on 020 8332 3248 or j.taylor@kew.org.

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