Friday, 17 July 2015

Schmalhauseneii and a very light phase Pallens Variant

Today was again spent on Hutton Roof checking out the rare Epipactis. It was a very windy day and difficult to get any photographs, but did just manage to get one or two for the blog which are shown below We managed to find another couple of Schmalhauseneii (of the lighter and more delicate phase) and also a lovely "Pallens" variant shown below. Although this specimen is showing well, to be honest with you the others are at least another week to ten days off flowering. Its really slow this year.

The rare variant Pallens strikes again and what a beauty this one has turned out to be, very light in colouring, I will put a more close up photo below it.  (Click over photo to enlarge)
This is that same plant with a closer look at the epichile and bosses (click over to enlarge)
This is a new "Pallens" we found today, although relatively close to at least two more already confirmed.  I am quickly becoming aware that the Pallens variants can show to have a burnt edge to the petals and sepals.  This can make you think that the plant is going over although it is just beginning to flower.  This was quite noticable on a "viride" Pallens variant we had last year. I am not sure whether or not this has been the same with the beautiful yellow sepal/red petal Pallens I will need to check with the old photos.  But certainly this "burnt edging" has been noted for future comparisons.

Finally I will put on here the next photo of both this new Pallens which is now called Pallens No.5 which has a standard atrorubens growing at the side of it.  It gives you some ideas on comparisons.

Click over to enlarge. Probably not the best photo of a atrorubens, but side by side it gives you a indication of the difference in colour between a standard atroruben and the rare Pallens No.5

Here below is a current photo of Pallens No.4 which is currently well sheltered and probably about 4 days away from its best.

Pallens No. 4 which I found last year, doing OK despite all around it having been predated by local deer.

We struggled to find areas were local deer had not predated the orchids, litterally scores had been "nipped off" and that included a few of our special specimens.  Its without doubt been the worst year yet for Slug/Hare/Deer predation.

The photo below is of a straight forward Dark Red Helliborine (Epipactis atrorubens), a lovely specimen that has actually manage to escape predation.  Although this plant shows well to be honest the majority of atrorubens that have survived will not be ready for at least a further week to ten days at best, most of them still have drooping heads. It really is strange this year with stuff maturing at all different times.

A lovely straight atrorubens specimen - few and far between this year!

Below is a photo taken today of Schmalhauseneii specimens 15 and 16 which have not even straightened out yet, so obviously will be another week to ten days before its at its best.

Schmalhauseneii 15 and 16 - still got another week or so to go.
Here below is a photo of Schmalhauseneii No.8 which has been invaded by "black aphids".  I dont think the plant is going to succeed, but we will have to wait and see.  This plant was a striking specimen has you can see from the follow on photo (taken last year)

This years Schmal No.8 being invaded by "Black Aphids" See photo below from last year.
Schmal No.8 last year

On our way back I found this "White" Self Heal something I have always wanted to find since reading about the rare records of it being found 100 years ago somewhere near to Dalton Crags.

A rare "White Form" of Self Heal