|John and Gerry's Orchids of Britain and Europe|
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Reserva naturelle du Vercors
Ophrys drumana||Cyprepedium calceolus||
Areas of interest
* Col de Menee
The col itself is under-passed by a short tunnel which takes the D7 directly across the border between the Provinces of Isere and Drome. From the car park at the west end of the tunnel, paths lead up the Col and above the tunnel entrance. Several species of montane orchids live up here and most importantly this is an area in which to seek out the beautiful Orchis pallens.
+ Col du Prayet
The Col is located on the D7 some four kilometres north of the Col de Menee and is a site supporting many of Vercors special orchids but which demands a considerable investment of time if one wishes to fully explore the varied habitats that exist here. From the small car park, walking tracks radiate in all directions on both sides of the road but the woodlands in particular are extremely rich in species. Cephalanthera rubra, Cephalanthera longifolia, Cyprepedium calceolus, Corallorhiza trifida, Dactylorhiza fucshii, Dachtylorhiza majalis, Neotinea maculata, Neotinea ustulata, Neottia cordata, Ophrys scolopax, Orchis spitzelii, Orchis purpurea, Orchis militaris.
This is a tiny village that lies some 4 kilometres to the north of the small town of Chichilanne just off the D7. The village is approached by means of the D7C, a narrow road that is flanked on both sides by intermittent broad leaf forest and fields. Both these habitats, together with the road verges support a good variety of orchid species. Cephalanthera rubra, Cephalanthera longifolia, Cyprepedium calceolus, Corallorhiza trifida, Neotinea maculata, Ophrys scolopax, Ophrys araneola, Ophrys insectifera, Orchis spitzelii, Orchis purpurea, Orchis militaris.
* La Batie
This is a tiny village that sits astride the D8A south of Gresse-en-Vercors. No more than two hundred metres to the north of the village is a bridge across the Ravin de Mouna. A parking area can be found to the south of the bridge and from here, walking tracks head westwards along the course of the river. Orchids can be found throughout. Cephalanthera longifolia, Cyprepedium calceolus, Corallorhiza trifida, Dactylorhiza fucshii, Dactylorhiza majalis, Dactylorhiza viridis, Neotinea tridentata, Ophrys scolopax, Ophrys insectifera, Orchis spitzelii, Orchis purpurea, Orchis militaris.
Just north of this small town, take the D76 to the resistance memorial and beyond to the ski area at Font D'urle. The length of this road and surrounding woodland and grassland support many species of spring orchids and also woodland species in early summer. The summit ski slopes become alpine meadows as the snows retreat and montane specialities such as Gymnadenia rhellicani, Traunsteinera globosa and Chamorchis alpina can be found. Ophrys scolopax, Ophrys gresivaudanica, Ophrys fuciflora, Ophrys insectifera, Ophrys araneola, Himantoglossum hircinum, Cephalanthera longifolia, Anacamptis morio, Corallorhiza trifida, Neottia nidus-avis, Dactylorhiza fucshii.
The main northerly access to the Vercors National Park is via the D531 from Sassenage on the outskirts of Grenoble. As the road climbs away from the city towards Lans-en-Vercors it becomes increasingly less built up. Orchids can be found along the verges and in suitable areas of the surrounding countryside though care should be taken when exploring the roadside as the D531 is a relatively busy and fast moving highway. There are several stretches where parking is available, including the Le Bruyant picnic site. Ophrys gracilis, Ophrys. fuciflora, Ophrys scolopax, Ophrys insectifera, Orchis militaris, Orchis purpurea, Orchis pallens, Orchis ovalis, Cephalanthera longifolia, Cephalanthera damasonium, Himantoglossum hircinum.
From the town, the D732 travels north towards Combovin and the first stretch of this road as far as its junction with the D749, is rich orchid country. This latter junction called the Pas de Frecou is the site of a small WW2 Resistance Memorial which stands on a grassy triangle which supports several orchid species. This 5 kilometres of road verge is classic habitat for the scarce Ophrys drumana and various of the fuciflorid Ophrys species. Ophrys fuciflora, Ophrys gresivaudanica, Ophrys gracilis, Ophrys drumana, Ophrys scolopax, Ophrys druentica, Orchis provincialis, Ophrys militaris, Anacamptis papilionacea, Neotinea ustulata, Neotinea tridentata.