Friday, 25 July 2014

Green Flowered Helleborine - Epipactis phyllanthes

One of the smaller phyllanthes specimens
The last couple of days have yet again proved so interesting on Hutton Roof having now discovered a new species for the area, the rare Green Flowered Helleborine (Epipactis phyllanthes var: pendula), growing in the shade of a small hazel bush. There are three separate plants, one of which is of average size whereby the other two are on the small size but all carry flowers at the top of their stems.  Also long drooping "green ochre" shaped ovaries.
The whole general appearance of the plant has a downward look to it.
Our phyllanthes is of the variant "pendula". It could well be the highest known breeding altitude record for this plant in the whole of Cumbria (to be confirmed), the species is more regularly found towards the coastal areas. It is certainly a first for the old County of Westmorland, but not a first for the current Vice County.

Close up showing the long "ochre" like grooved ovaries

All though going over the top two flowers are showing here

The finding of this species has been a joint effort by myself and two friends Peter J and Alan G. Its also now brought up the possibility of there being even more lurking about in nearby beech woods.

The Broad Leaved Helliborines (epipactis helliborine) are starting to show well now and this year seems exceptional with them being found in lots of new places. When you consider just how many are about up on the verges of the limestone pavements and nestled in among the low surrounding vegetation, it brings it home of how and why we are getting all the beautiful hybrids (epipactis schmalhauseneii). 

A lovely Broad Leaved Helliborine
You don't seem to see much Hard Fern on Hutton Roof, not that its a rare species, but its the very first time I have been able to find it on HR.

Hard Fern on Hutton Roof
BURTON SWIFT STUDY GROUP  (tonight - Friday 25th July 2014)
We are meeting up at the Burton Memorial Hall at 2100hrs to monitor our local Swifts.  You are more than welcome to join us, and enjoy the marvels of these wonderful creatures.....