Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Epipactis and Hypericums - from 28th June 2016

Atrorubens starting to come through today (28th June 2016) (Click over to enlarge)

Wednesday 29th June 2016 - Hutton Roof - Checking out Epipactis - 0900hrs to 1100hrs

Absolutely drenched! but always worth it, I just had to get out knowing I am busy tomorrow and would not get another chance, so needs must....

First of all checked out Schmal No.2 which has already failed in the past two years because of slug predation.  Well this year nothing showing at all, although there are close atrorubens coming through but dont have any of the Schmal signs.  Also the small hazel bush has taken over.  This is a very interesting site because here you do have the atrorubens within 14" of the helliborine.  See the photo below which I took back in 2012.

Shows Helliborine and Atrorubens within close proximity (14") which did also have a Schmal (which I named No.2) within two metres of these parent plants. Sadly this Schmal has been predated by slugs in two of its past four years (first recorded in 2012, slug predation both 2014 and 2015), and this year completed failed to show. This photo taken in 2012 and highlights just how close the mixed parents can be.
I checked out other closeby areas which proved very disappointing with several Schmals not showing at all this year.  Example: No.6 has failed, No.20 failed, 20 and 21 predated (probably slug) and 23 and 24 (probably slug).  But the good news is that a specimen No.5 has possibly re-appeared or more likely a new specimen No.5a has come through within one metre of where No 5 was (see photo below)

for now this will be called specimen 5a  (Click over to enlarge)

Another interesting plant I found today is a specimen showing quite a lot of lemon even on closed buds, this should be showing in another week or so.  Could the lemon Colour specimens be spreading to other parts of the roof? (see photo below)

Atrorubens already starting to show lots of "lemon colour" (Click over to enlarge)

Little patience to take a good photo today, after all raining cats and dogs! so we will have another bash in a few days time when the plant is fully developed.


Tuesday 28th June 2016 - Hutton Roof - Checking out Epipactis and Hypericums

Already you can see from the above photo that odd Atrorubens are coming through on Hutton Roof. Although most specimens are not yet flowering, just odd ones here and there.

I checked out the lonesome Schmalhauseneii (hybrid) No.1 and the good news is that at least it has come through yet again, making this its fifth year! although sadly the bad news is that again its already been cut by the local deer and will not reach fruition this year which is a repeat performance of last year.  We are left with just the two large basal leaves being supported by a superthick lower purple stem.

It is now my fifth year of recording these fabulous hybrids and it seems to becoming more and more clear that the majority of hybrid plants seem to be dying out after their third or fourth years. So it was great to see Schmal No.1 having crossed over that four year barrier.

Looking at the general picture of these hybrid superplants it does not take a lot of working out to see how the possibility could be that they are simply burnt out after three or four years.  Obviously the records will confirm this over the coming years but for now its certainly is looking like this could be the position.

Besides checking out more epipactis I thought also I should check out a area which supports a good population of Pale St John's Wort (Hypericum Montanum).  The best group we had which contained in past years up to 14 individual plants has today lost its best group which did have between 6 to 10 flowers, unfortunately these just have not come through this year.  So we are left with a new plant which is already in flower, a two party, and two more singles about.  I also need to check out a further two single plants in other areas.

Chiffchaffs are still singing in either broken or shorter verse, but the Willow Warblers are just now calling with their "hou whit" contact calls.  I had a family group party calling with alarm.  Also the Blackcaps and Garden Warblers have already gone into silent mode.

I did not expect butterflies on the wing today because its been so cloudy, but sure enough odd Ringlets and Meadow Browns were seen and one male Common Blue.

Flowers: Dropwort, Hypericum Pulchrum

Hypericum Montanum's beautiful leaves catching water droplets (flowers not out yet)