Although looking as if it should be in the Arum family , like Lords and Ladies , it is in fact a member of the Fern family , strange looking plants , holding aloft their spadix-like spike of spores . As can be seen from the photographs , they are only about 5/7cm. high , and can be easily overlooked in the swarth of grass where they grow . The only other colour in the meadow was provided by Meadow Bottercup , which was starting to come into flower , but lots of Vetches , Yellow Rattle , Dyer's Greenweed and Knapweeds are pushing through , so I think another visit later in the year will be on the cards .
The derivation of the name comes from the green veined hood that shrouds the top of the flower , and can be seen best on the white variant above . The lighter coloured flowers are meant to give off a strong vanilla scent , but I must say that I didn't notice it . Also in the meadow , mainly in a damp corner , was Adderstongue_Ophioglossum vulgatum .
We walked through the first field and into the second , the field I have visited on previous visits , but not for some years now . The Meadow infront of us was full of Green Winged Orchids . It was like paradise , the flowers the birdsong and gentle heat from the hazy sunshine , making it all perfect . This must be one of the best sites for this Orchid in Kent , if not even further afield . The colour varies from deep Purple ,through Pink ,even to White .
Although we had hazy sunshine , a cool breeze was blowing , and only 2 Green Veined Whites and a single Large White were recorded on the butterfly front .
Birds did much better with male and female Blackcap and male Bullfinch found almost as soon as we got into the second field . These were followed by Common Whitethroat , Chiffchaff , my first Turtle Dove of the year , Wren , Yellowhammer , Swallow , and most unexpectedly , deep in Willow between the damp corner and the railway line on my second lap , a Reed Warbler .
My only disappointment with the visit was that there was no sign of the Water Violet-Hottonia palustris , that was all over a small pond by the roadside , it was the only place that I have found this pretty little water plant .
Coming home , the traffic was bad trying to get onto the roundabout at the north end of the Lamberhurst bypass , but after that , our side was clear all the way home . The queue on the southbound stretched from the Pembury Hospital roundabout , right back to Hayesden Country Park , and the motor bikes were still heading down to the coast .
By the time we got to Pollhill , it had started raining , we had had the best of the day in a beautiful meadow .