Saturday, 28 June 2014

First day checking out Epipactis Schmalhauseneii

Along with others we've been keeping a eye on this chappie!

First day out this year actually checking out the Dark Red Helliborines (Epipactis Atrorubens), some of which had already opened up.

Checking out some of last year's possibilities for the rare hybrid title "Epipactis schmalhauseneii"  One or two today looked reasonable candidates, for the title but I would rather wait until I get more flowers open before I make any decisions, with lots of ground to cover over the next couple of weeks.

Close up of the flower showing the boss size ratio in relation
to the epichile (2014)
Yes the specimen above we marked off last year with markers and gps readings so that we could get straight on to it this year.  You will see from the photos that last year the plant was very much deformed. This year the deformity is showing much less. 

I suppose the most striking feature at first is the beautiful wine coloured petals of the E.atrorubens featuring against the light green hairy stem of this probable hybrid.

The close up photograph of the boss and epichile, along with other
The same plant last year (2013)
leaf structure and colouring etc, would in my opinion make this a early qualifier for the title of "Schmalhauseneii" just what we had expected the outcome to have been. The width measure of the bosses is just below the 50% required.  

And here is a photograph I took last year showing the plant which had much deformity.

The immediate area has quite a few Dark Reds specimens which seem to be following the standard species requirement, and within two metres of the hybrid specimen is two fine one metre high Broad Leaved Helliborines. 

Besides checking out the Epipactis it was also good to be able to record more Ploughman's Spikenard, Small Scabious, a area I had lost from last year which had recently (now gone over) Sanicle, a good 30 metre solid "Woodruff" colony, more Lily of the Valley gps...d, also checking out a Rock Rose colony which was just about the same area as last year, no more no less! Some more Limestone Polypody and Common Polypody, new Bitter Vetch area, checked out the beautiful Squinancywort, new area for Bittersweet. 

It was a dull morning and no butterflies on the way out, however on the return I had scores of Ringlets, good numbers of Meadow Browns, just the odd Small Pearl Bordered Fritillaries and a few Speckled Woods.

Absolutely stunning fern