Sunday, 31 July 2016

Is it a "Pendula" or does it deserve a title like "Westmorlandii"

Epipactis Phyllanthes (Green-Flowered Helleborine)  (Click over to enlarge) (Photo: R. Bate)

This one is probably taking centre stage at the moment. Especially with all its special individual characteristics and that beautiful coloured heart shaped epichile. Perhaps here nothing is running to form with so many differences cropping up throughout its description which cannot for one minute be compromised! You get 75% matching up with historic descriptive variant notes, yet you have 25% which is no where near the colours or ratios or other formula you would have expected. For me I would love it to be called the "Westmorlandii" variety.

Here below is another photo of the full plant

Epipactis Phyllanthes (Green-Flowered Helleborine) (Click over to enlarge) (Photo: R.Bate)

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Epipactis Mixture on 27th July 2016

"Variagated Helliborine" (Broad Leaved Helliborine) found on Hutton Roof (Cumbria Wildlife Reserve) - Click over photo to enlarge

This little beauty is now in flower on Hutton Roof (Click over to enlarge)
It was lovely meeting up with Dave who had travelled all the way up from Kent to check out our rarer Hutton Roof orchids on the Cumbria Wildlife Trust reserve.

Been watching this one now for the past couple of years and it's great to see it in flower at last. Still not the strongest specimen but doing OK.  There is yet another one closeby but this one is even more fragile!

This is the full flower of the plant shown above  (Click over to enlarge)


Our light colour Broad Leaved Helliborines (not viridiflora) is doing very well today and here is a current photo of how it was showing this morning.

One of our Light Coloured Helliborines on HR (Click over to enlarge)
Its a lovely plant and we still have a couple more of them closeby, but looking at them I do have a strong feeling they may not make it.  They seem very weak at the moment.  Sadly the best specimen has been nipped off with the local deer.


My Variagated Helliborine is doing well and now more flowers have come out. I was trying to get a photo today which also gives good clarity but failed however these two do give you a idea of the variagation both on the leaves and more impressive the ovaries and bracts. 

Variagated Helliborine Specimen (Click over to enlarge)

 Variagated Helliborine Specimen showing heavily marked ovary and bracts
(Click over to enlarge)


The last Lemon Petalled of the Year photographed today (Click over to enlarge)
I just managed to find the last one for Dave to check out.  The only reason this one was about is that it was hiding under close canopy slightly slowing it down.  Smothered close with some stonking mature helliborines!  yes helliborines, I guess it does make you wonder!


To finish off the day I found another strange beauty lurking in the bushes, but now I know where he his I will certainly be keeping a eye on him - Quick glances showed its going to be a very light specimen with lots of white in the flower, small leaves in place of bracks - so so so unusual, very deep green colour which usually results in lighter flowers, mega size rounded leaves

Small Leaves at the area where the bracts should be - (Click over to enlarge)

 Very large leaves spiralling up the stem (Click over to enlarge)

The full plant in situ - A super speciman (Click over to enlarge)

Monday, 25 July 2016

Epipactis Helliborine "Varidiflora"

Today was nice to see our Viridiflora starting to come through on Hutton Roof.

We have four recorded but sadly this year two have already be nipped off by the local Roe deers.

  Specimen "Varidiflora"No.1 - flower - photo 25th July 2016 (Click over to enlarge)

Specimen "Varidiflora" full flower No.1 - photo 25th July 2016 (Click over to enlarge)

Specimen "nearly Varidiflora" flower No.2 - photo 22nd July 2016  (Click over to enlarge)
Specimen "nearly Varidiflora" No.2 full plant - photo 22nd July 2016 (Click over to enlarge)

Friday, 22 July 2016

Epipactis - a superb day with some strange specimens!

Mountain Melick along with Rigid Buckler Fern (Click over to enlarge)

Today was yet another special day with lots of goodies or should I say weird specimens in some cases, but just the ticket, so enjoyable.

It started with finding a few nice clumps of the rare Mountain Melick Grass interwoven with some nice Rigid Buckler Fern, so I thought lets have a change from orchids and do this one.

I went over to check out a specimen which just looks very much like a Phyllanthes and I have found another to which could fit the bill!  but what made my day was finding a small helliborine of about 12" which is already in flower.  But the striking thing about this specimen is how the leafs and even the bracts are two shades of green so for now I have called him Stripey!  I have managed to take a couple of photos below for you to see.

 Broad Leaved Helliborine (Epipactis helliborine) called "Stripey" (Click over to enlarge)

For me its so interesting that the striped effect runs not only through the leaves but also in the bracks as well.  It was about five days ago when Jon and Peter came down from Scotland that we found a peculiar plant which also had that stripe effect and it was a plant with just the leaves no high stem or flowers.  It only lies about 40 yards away from this plant and now I am beginning to wonder if there could possible be a connection. I mean one is OK but two means there could well be a connection! take a look at the plant we found earlier and see what you think!

Broad Leaved Helliborine Plant with just the basal leaves (Epipactis helliborine) Click over to enlarge
So moving on I found a lovely Helliborine closeby which again made me stop in my tracks, again it just did not look to me like a regular "helliborine" unless of course it turns out to be a "Viridiflora"
or maybe a undiscovered "Phyllanthes" or is it just one of those strange "helliborines". Check the photos below and see what you think!

I am still finding beautiful lemon petalled atrorubens, just look at this little special with lots of lemon in the petals and a stunning "almost white" epichile. Its been registered as Specimen 74.

Specimen 74 - Atrorubens Lemon Petalled (Click over to enlarge)
No. 15 Schmalhauseneii looks quite well today and probably reached his best with just a hint of starting to go over, but at least this year he did make it.  Last year struggled after the local gave him a harecut!

Specimen 15 - Schmalhauseneii  (Click over to enlarge)
And to finish off the morning well what about this then! its called "Bracty" and its a plant with no flower plume just pure condensed head made up with bracts! never had one just like this before.

A E. Helliborine with a "bracted" head (Click over to enlarge)

A closer view of the "bracted" head (Click over to enlarge)
Its more than probable that the little brown bits in the middle of the head could well be what should have been buds!  I have had a situation a few years ago with a helliborine whereby in one year it was the most beautiful purpurea specimen and it had thrown everything out in that year and the following year it had nothing much to offer and you just got a plant with a stem column with bracts running off and the smallest of "burnt out buds" which never came to anything.  In fact I will look up the photo and join it on to here.

Helliborine Specimen 15 from 2013 - (Click over to enlarge)

I guess this is of a similar nature although the bracts in this case were still columned and not condensed into a tight group like the ones this morning.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Epipactis Specials - all ooer bah shoutin! (21st July 2016)

Yes things are starting to quieten down now in relation to Atrorubens and although there is still some fine specimens waiting to greet you, I have reluctantly got to say that the best is over and we are on the down!  Yet before long it will be the turn of the larger Helliborines (but not just yet), well at least on Hutton Roof.

I have been out everyday but not had chance to do any blogging until now so I will try and catch up a bit!

Below are some of the specials from over the last month

Specimen 66 - The Lemon Petalled on Green (Click over to enlarge)
Specimen 66 - The Lemon Petalled on Green variant (Click over to enlarge)

Specimen 70 - Schmalhauseneii (Click over to enlarge)
Specimen 11a - going over but still beautiful - (Click over to enlarge)
Specimen 9a - So very very pale just like its dad and mum where back in 2014! (Click over to enlarge)

Havn't we had some belters this year, they kept getting better and better. but what about our incredible "first on English soil (or carboniferous limestone) the Epipactis atrorubens variant "albiflora" photo below:

and two more photos below kindly shared by Grahame Preston (Devon)

 Epipactis Atrorubens variant "Albiflora" (Photo: Grahame Preston)  Click over to enlarge

Epipactis Atrorubens variant "Albiflora" (Photo: Grahame Preston)  Click over to enlarge
and today I have had this rather unusual Epipactis

Click over to enlarge
Also today good to have bumped into a family party of at least five Marsh Tits, flitting about above me just like little Flycatchers.  Also today there were Dark Green Fritillaries, Grayling

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Still finding atrorubens specials and a bonus Phyllanthes

Specimen 70 (a very tasty Schmal) see more photos below (Click over to enlarge)

Wow its been a very busy and fabulous weekend with parties from Grange and Wilmslow on the Saturday, and on the Sunday a couple of gentlemen (Jon and Peter) who had travelled all the way down from both the Shetland Isle and Aviemore to witness our local orchid delights!

Its always great to meet up with people and share information with all who have interest in Orchids and especially with the grand array of Epipactis variety we have on Hutton Roof. Most Orchid lovers whom I meet are instantly taken back especially with the "Lemon Petalled (Green or Purple) varieties of atrorubens.

Specimen 70 shown above is just another special which is striking with its lovely placed bell sweeping red flowers contrasting so much against its helliborine influenced light green stem and leaves. It is more than likely that the above plant is a member of the Schmalhauseneii hybrid family. The area around this plant also shows much variety and the plant is surrounded also by several of the main probable parentage being the Broad Leaved Helliborine (Epipactis helliborine).  

Here below are a couple more photos showing the flowers in more close up.

More close up views of Specimen 70 (Click over to enlarge)

Close to this specimen (No.70) is what I already have presumed to be another although different "family" connection tie up with several similar looking plants scattered about the local area. We have this example below showing it's bowed head, and the specimen looks so interesting and its another one which at first glance gives you the initial helliborine suggestion, although on closer examination you see all the atrorubens features as well. In fact this plant is anything other than straight forward as you can see!

Specimen 65 (Click over to enlarge)

Now below I am showing just a leaf, but I guess it shows a lack of pigmentation in part.  It certainly is a example that I have never seen before up until today here on Hutton Roof. The specimen was in thick cover to the rear of Specimen Schmalhauseneii No. 15 quite close to several mature in size although with heads still bowing Broad Leaved Helliborines (Epipactis helliborine).  In a few weeks time I will be collecting a leaf from these good strong helliborines to be sent off for analysis of their DNA which I do expect the result to show a clear family relationship around this area and hopefully to find out if their could be parentage from these plants in connection to Specimen Schmal 15.

           A helliborine leaf specimen showing a lack of pigmentation in part.  (Click over to enlarge)

Of special interest also today was the finding by Jon Dunn of yet another fabulous (although very small and fragile) Green Flowered Orchid (Epipactis phyllanthes) which was hiding within the edge of a hazel tree and placed low down within a shallow gryke.  You can see from the photo it does have buds and hopefully it will eventually flower along with our other nearby specimen.

Green Flowered Orchid -(Epipactis phyllanthes) (Click over to enlarge)
Although perhaps not a strong specimen, it leaves you wondering how on earth did that get up here and it seems happy to be at 800ft above sea level which is I guess quite extroadinary for this species in these parts!

Thursday, 14 July 2016

When the norm becomes the rarity and the rarity becomes the norm!

Specimen No.66 (photo 2015)

The Norm has become the Rarity!

My beloved Hutton Roof,
A special place for Epipactis and a place where
The straight forward has become the rarity
And the rarity has become the norm.

Rubens or Borines which do you want?
A Schmalhauseneii mix for you Sir!
Today can be the purple wash,
Tomorrow can be the green wash.

But we have some green ovary specials,
With a brownier flower to bear and stare,
Called No.9, 9a,9b,9c and so on and on and on
And away until they are gone!

We have some Lemon Petalled beauties,
Small, mediums and largest and blessed,
Green stems or purple stems we have the mix,
Stunning our pupil since 2014 that’s young

What about a Palens Ma’am,
In Lutescens mix or you can have a green cream flavour,
Both are staring “wimperley” but this is only part
Of a start of something far more special.

Here we have the very first on English soil I am told,
Called “Albiflora” and what a little gem it was
It lacks a lot of colour dear “Albi” green and  white,
I even looked through transparency at some of its sight!

Make a path to the bottom of this hill
Where flowers of purpurea live out their days,
It’s a sort of red wine colour they display some years,
Darker with canopy, lighter with sun.

To my North I can see a Helliborine change
Which is so pale and bright!
Often called a special or by name
Viridiflora’s sight.

Bryan Yorke – 14th July 2016

I had a fabulous day on the Roof yesterday with lots of lovely people, who all seemed to love the smals and pals.  It was heavy going for me so I am taking a couple of hours out this morning to prepare this poem called "The Norm has become the Rarity"  please enjoy

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

A new Lemon Petalled Atrorubens and a new Schmalhauseneii hybrid for today (12th July 2016).

Specimen 66 found today - Lemon Petalled with Green (Click over to enlarge)

Found this specimen today on Hutton Roof although it was very close to other Lemon Petalled with Green which I have only recently added to the register!  Its another beauty which stands at about 2ft and on the edge of a 10ft diameter Juniper bush

A nice pair of local atrorubens  (Click over to enlarge)
Always nice to photograph a standard atrorubens especially when it is at the side of a (Lemon Petalled - on the way).

Specimen No.67 just happens to be another Schmalhauseneii   (Click over to enlarge)
It was great to find this one today appearing out of a Juniper bush, but how on earth it escaped me in the past I will never know and its quite obvious its already in its 5th year (that longevity is also very interesting in itself).  Like many Schmals it could do with lessons in stem straightening!!  It shows its helliborine side with a good green stem and leaves, yet the atrorubens comes through in the colour of the flowers and also if you carefully check the base of the stem you will find the bottom 2" will also be purple as a rule.

There has been more today on the borderline, but for now its been a good day - I wonder just what tomorrow will bring?

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Update on even more strange Atrorubens and a rare Albiflora (10th July 2016)

 Epipactis Specimen 65 (Click over to enlarge)

I was kindly given details yesterday of this strange plant coming through on Hutton Roof. Thanks to Robert.  I decided to check it out and have taken a trio of photos.  I guess it just has to be yet another star!  I guess at first looking just where it was under close canopy it looked very much like the drooping head of a "Helliborine" and quite close to it there were several of them present.  But this one is a very strange make up of plant and with a stem like that and purple ovaries surely this has to be a atrorubens, But maybe the leaves belong to Helliborine?

Another of Specimen 65 (Click over to enlarge)

And finally a close up of a bud, ovary and stem for Specimen 65 (Click over to enlarge)


Epipactis variant "Albiflora" No.2a (Click over to enlarge)

Probably the star of the show for me has been this beautiful atrorubens variant "Albiflora" No.2a which I found ten days ago. I did manage to get a photo this morning although it is now starting to go over a bit and the top buds will not do anything. I would not be surprised if this be the first ever recorded in England although it has been recorded in the past in the Kishorn area of West Ross and Cromarty (Orchids of Britain - Harrap).

Epipactis variant which we have already classified as "Palens" No.2 - Albiflora  (Click over to enlarge)
This is a very interesting specimen which originally came through in 2014 and although predated last year has now managed to put in an appearance this year.  It still shows lots of light green and cream especially around the epichile. I did think in 2014 it almost met the "Albiflora" conditions although this year I have noticed more and more purple has crept into the make up. You notice the purple especially this year on the ovaries which were green in 2014 and lots of the sepals with purple spotting on the epichile and bosses.  If you look closely on the "Albiflora" Specimen 2a pictured above this photo you will see it has almost nil interference with purple and shows a green ovary etc etc.


Specimen 63 (Click over to enlarge)
This is a lovely looking flower with some really good contrasting colour.  A plant of only some 6" high.