Rare Lizard Orchid spotted flowering near HS1 line

A cluster of six rare flowering lizard orchid plants has been discovered for the first time on the HS1 train line running through North Kent between Bromley and Chatham.

The plants, discovered by local botanist David Steere, are thought to be the first recorded in the surrounding area since the species was last seen in Dartford 100 years ago. The plant has now returned this year along with at least 70 spikes of White Mullein – another Kent rare plant – on the same site.

The so-called ‘Lizard Orchid’ derives its name from the appearance of its flower, which has a grey/green flower with ragged side lobes that give the impression of the legs and tail of a lizard clambering up. 

The line sits within the area where HS1 Ltd has committed to supporting a 20% biodiversity net-gain, demonstrating our commitment to maintaining a healthy and diverse natural environment.

Find out more about HS1's sustainability strategy here.

Lizard Orchid images courtesy of Kent Wildlife Trust