Slovenia is one of the best places to discover wild orchids in Central Europe; if you visit the right places at the right time of the year, you can expect to see many different orchid species in a single week!
Orchids are very intricate plants with amazing adaptations to their environment and relationships with pollinating insects. People normally associate these plants with white showy tropical orchids which are sold as indoor plants. European orchids are much smaller, but not less beautiful.
Picture 1: Early purple orchid (Orchis mascula)
Slovenia is a land full of forests, almost 60% of Slovenian territory is covered with them. Green is a predominant colour within all of our mountains and valleys, but if you look closely, you will find a whole variety of colours with Slovenian alpine flowers growing in the meadows across the country; one of these alpine flowers being our outstanding wild orchids.
Picture 2: Elder flowered orchid (Dactylorhiza sambucina)
Wild orchids are perennial flowers that have rhizomes or stem bulbs. Slovenian orchids differ from the well-known tropical orchids that usually grow on trees. The local orchids (Orchidaceae) are categorised in 28 families that encompass 79 species.
Picture 3: Lesser butterfly orchid (Platanthera bifolia)
Orchids are usually found in alpine meadows, open woodland and unfertilised wet and dry meadows, as well as in wetlands and headwater marshes.
Picture 4: Common spotted orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsii)
Due to the strong influence of the Mediterranean climate, most orchids are found in the sub Mediterranean area of Slovenia. Some early species bloom in March, but most flower in May and June; in the summer, various species grow high in the mountains, and they can also be found in early autumn.
Picture 5: Burnt orchid (Neotinea ustulata)
Some of these stunning orchids can be spotted on our walks; especially in the May and June.
Picture 6: Three toothed orchid (Orchis tridentata)
Book a Slovenian walking holiday with us now to enjoy these interesting flowers around our hotel and hikes in the Alps.