Monday, 30 June 2014

More Epipactis Schmalhauseneii notes PART TWO.

This is a "nearly" schmal - photo taken 1 week ago
Now for me I would be calling this a "nearly" Epipactis Schmalhauseneii the rare hybrid between Dark Red Helliborine and the Broad Leaved Helliborine. Let me try and outline the case:-

First of all it has the bunched head appearance were flowers are circulating the full circumference of the stem and of a thick spiky plume appearance - for this alone I would have to tick the box for probable hybrid - it bears no resemblance to a typical Dark Red Helliborine whatsoever!

Secondly the base leaf is rounded and deeply ridged and of a deep green colour - certainly not typical of a regular Dark Red Helliborine, but more typical of what to expect of a Broad Leaved Helliborine feature. So here again I would have to tick the box for probable hybrid.

Thirdly the smaller darker green leaves are circulating all directions of the stem in a spiral fashion which you would probably get more with Broad Leaved Helliborine rather than the typical Dark Red Helliborine.  This again means I would tick the box for probable hybrid.

Now then with these points in mind, we also have the following factors to be taken into consideration eg: The main stem of the plant, is of a deep red burgundy colour typical of the Dark Red Helliborine.
Also the actual timing of when in flower (in other words right now!),  is purely typical of only the Dark Red Helliborine, whereby the Broad Leaved Helliborine will not be opened up for at least another three weeks yet.

So just on the evidence so far supplied, I am feeling very confident that we have a probable Schmalhauseneii here! what do you think?

I would certainly have been able to have ticked all the boxes, but for one thing! the boss measurements are too wide within the epichile!  The following photo (below left) is of a close up showing the bosses in relation to its epichile of the same plant which is shown above.

Boss ratio to epichile width
to some "falls short"

To satisfy the BSBI requirements of "Epipactis Schmalhauseneii" the boss width in relation to the width of the epichile must not be any wider than 50% of the epichile width and when you see this specimen you will note that the bosses cover over 75% of that width.

So we have a situation that if this specimen shown here is not a "Epipactis Schmalhauseneii" then what is it?  It would certainly be unfair to call it a typical Dark Red Helliborine (Epipactis Atrorubens) because of the abnormalities which I have pointed out already.

And this is the problem at Hutton Roof, there are scores of plants (less than 50) that fit the title of "nearlies" but probably less that 10 in total that can actually claim the title of  Epipactis Schmalhauseneii.

Another of this years
Schmalhauseneii had a premature end
(Click over to enlarge)
Yesterday on checking on the only as yet confirmed specimen of Schmalhausenii (photos shown in last Saturdays blog).  Already the deer has had it, so sadly this one cant progress any further at least for this year anyway.

And here is another one from yesterday which for some reason already appears to be burnt out!  sadly on checking the records for the area and the gps co-ordinates, it's another one of our recorded Schmalhauseneii's.  In the same area there are lots of typical Atrorubens and these are all OK, so whats caused this premature "burn out" I really wouldnt know but probably something different within its genes may have something to do with it.

Lots of other great stuff to blog, I'll try and do it later. (A Fawn, more Birds Foot Sedge, Pyramidal Orchid photos, More sanicle records, Hard Shield with 40" fronds, Albino Herb Robert, More Common Rock Rose records, a new Squinancywort record, Chimney Sweep Moth eruption, more zig zag clover photos and records etc etc etc....