|Another "light phase" atrorubens (click over to enlarge)|
This is also a little beauty I found today among the Helliborine's and has come through very light phase and I would even presume it does have a lot of light phase throughout its make up, but feel it may be a little premature to say that it has crossed the boundaries to the stage of a "variant" owing to the fact that there are far more decisive specimens on record. In this particular instance I feel that some of this obvious lightness is as a result of "natural bleaching" having for one been found in a very exposed area and coupled with the fact that I have previously noticed before that with "light phase" epipactis atrorubens flowers they do tend to go "much lighter still" at the actual turning point which is recognized as "going over" and if you look at the tips of the bracts on this photo you will note the apparent "burning" which I reckon could also be another clue to the advancement and possible "Whitening to light pink" in particular looking toward the epichile features of the plant. Even so a nice specimen and especially what makes it even more interesting as far as I am concerned is that its with a green stem (although be it of a mid green phase). It certainly qualifies for another check out and follow up because just for the moment I can say "the jurys still out on this one".
|Specimen No.15 in 2012 (click over to enlarge)|
If that was to happen I guess I for one will dispatch myself straight over to the Beetham area or somewhere along its North West Flightline, which for me has in the past had terrific results and were I have had the privilege to witnessed hundreds (not thousands, although there could well be thousands over the full day), of that extraordinary 2nd leg (France to UK only) of a new brood of the "Painted Lady" butterfly.
|Specimen No. 15 in 2013 when it aborted|
before flowering as you can see here
I wonder what the variant "purpurea's" will turn out like this year, I have already checked out the hotspot and sadly some of the "better last year" specimens have already had the "chop" or the "snip". What I mean is that the helliborine's drooping heads have already been well "coppiced" by the local marauding roe deer. But it still leaves that most beautiful Specimen No.15, wow! I wonder what shade of Magenta or Purple or Lilac we will get from this one this year! Can't wait.......
Last year (2013) Specimen no.15 aborted its buds before it ever got chance to flower (see photo) with its buds simply shrivelling up and dropping off, but if you look at the photo here you can see that "most of the production" seemed to go on at the lower levels and more into the basal and sheath leaves, and probably not much left for the flower end of the business! Out of a couple of dozen specimens in the close vicinity there was at least 50% of them aborted in exactly the same way. This issue (aborting) here was very local, in fact to a area considered to be a colony (of Broad Leaves) with over 25 specimens within a 10 metre diameter range. Yet I did also see the same thing happening to several other plants on another limestone pavement some 500 yards away in distance. It will be interesting to see what happens this year! So far this years looks good! fingers crossed!
|Close up features of Spec No.15 var: purpurea (photo taken 2012)|
(Click over photo to enlarge)
|Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly hatches today (old photo from 2012)|