Jersey

Jersey has first early spider orchid since 1929

Early Spider Orchid
Image caption While common in the South of England, the National Trust says an early spider orchid has not been seen in Jersey since 1929

A flower not seen in Jersey since 1929 has been discovered in St Ouen by a group of school children taking part in a National Trust nature club.

The rare early spider orchid is more usually seen in the south of England. It gets its name from its dark flowers that look like spiders.

National Trust Rangers found the flower during a ramble with school children over the half term break.

They spotted its dark flowers in dune grassland near the beach.

Sally Dallman, from the National Trust for Jersey said they were very hard to grow and described the find as "incredibly exciting".

"It is an early spider orchid and they are not known for their pollination skills, they don't pollinate very quickly. It is incredibly difficult to get the situation just right for them to grow," Ms Dallman said.

"To see one come up of its own accord is incredibly rare and exciting."

Ms Dallman said at first she thought it was a bee orchid.

She said: "I looked at it more closely and it didn't look right. I happened to have my flower book in my pocket and it looked like a spider orchid.

"I phoned a botanist friend from the Societe Jersiais who was shopping at the time. When I described the flower she dropped the shopping and was here within 10 minutes."

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