An orchid (Latin - Orchis) is a type of a perennial plant belonging to the orchid family. Its typical representative species is Orchis militaris, the Military Orchid. Its roots are two egg- or ball-shaped undivided underground bulbs. There is only one spathous leaf on the stem, and the remaining leaves are centred at the base in the shape of a rose. The flowers are gathered together to form a shapely thick spike on top of the stem. The flowers are placed in the membranaceous and drying stipules, which are shorter than the ovary. The flower labium with a spur is pointed downwards. Some orchid species have developed flowers of specific shapes or smells attracting insects.
The orchid family comprises over 20 thousand species of perennial plants. It is one of the higher plants families which comprises the largest number of species. In Poland, about 50 species of the 24 genera grow wild and they are all under protection. The plants of the orchid family with spectacular and unique flowers are commonly referred to as orchids.
The orchid meadow is located in the Łagowsko – Sulęciński Landscape Park, near Wielowieś, on a moraine hill, nearby a stream. The lie of the land on the extension of the tunnel lake is sloping. On the bottom, a stream sculptures a small basin. The plants grow in particular zones here, from the bottom of the stream basin to the edge of the moraine hill. Reed beds (Magnocaricion) grow nearby the stream; they are represented mainly by the lesser pond sedge (Carex acutiformis). A little bit further there is a Calthion meadow, called also a marsh marigold meadow, which grows on the marshy soils of lowland bogs. This location is characterized by a great diversity of plant species, e.g. the southern adder's-tongue (Ophioglossum valgatum), the eggleaf twayblade (Listera ovata), the water avens (Geum rivale), and the cabbage thistle (Cirsium oleraceum) can be found here. A little bit higher there are habitats of the garden loosestrife (Lysimachia vulgaris), heath spotted-orchid (Dactylorhiza maculata) and broad-leaved marsh orchid (Dactylorhiza majalis). All of these species belong to the orchid family. The highest part of the meadow, the slope and the basin edge are occupied by Arrhenatherion elatioris. A great diversity of species can be found here as well, e.g. the ox-eye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare), the spreading bellflower (Campanula patula) and the showy goat's-beard (Tragopogon pratensis). The hunting black stork also lives in the area.