I remember when I first came across this most stunningly beautiful flower when on one of my local walks. It was late afternoon and I was returning home across a field when this vibrant yellow flower caught my eye. I was immediately taken by the colours and form of the blossoms.
This bright lemon-yellow flower is composed of tufted spikes, each individual flower made-up of two closed lips, the lower with two orangey bosses and a spur which points downwards. The green, narrow leaves grow spirally up the stem.
It flowers late into the autumn giving a bright flush of colour, from July to October. Pollination usually requires strong insects such as bees and bumblebees to open the closed flower lips.
Usually found in clumps in meadows, roadsides, embankments, and other open grassy habitats. Common and widespread throughout.
October 2011, local field, Staffordshire. Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38. © Pete Hillman 2011.