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.