Bird's-nest orchid

Neottia nidus-avis

Bird’s-nest orchid, photo: Arne Ader

Protected in Estonia (protection category III). They grow in groves, hazel woods, and marshes. Bird’s-nest orchids do not have leaves and are completely brownish, which means that they can be easily mistaken for rotten stems from the previous year. In reality, however, it is a bird’s-nest orchid, alive and blooming. The above-ground stem, which is rather thick, stiff, upright, and yellow to light brown, is up to 40 cm high. The underground part of the plant looks similar to a bird’s nest and consists of a short rhizome and fleshy roots, which are closely interwoven with each other. There are up to 50 yellowish-brown flowers in the inflorescence. The development of the plant, from a seed to blooming, can last for over ten years.