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Early Purple Orchid - Orchis mascula (Orchidaceae) Height to 40cm. Attractive perennial that grows in woodland, scrub and grassland, doing especially well on neutral or calcareous grassland. FLOWERS are pinkish purple, with a 3-lobed lower lip, 8-12mm long, and a long spur; borne in tall spikes (Apr-Jun). FRUITS are egg-shaped. LEAVES are glossy and dark green with dark spots; these appear first as a rosette, from January onwards, from which the flower stalk arises later in spring. STATUS-Widespread and locally common throughout much of the region.