Sunday, 4 June 2017

Checking the stages of Schmals, Atrorubens, Helleborines etc (3rd June 2017)

Epipactis Helleborine var: variagated No.1 (Click over to enlarge)
This is a beautiful plant which I discovered only last year.  This variagated pattern is unusual although we did have three separate plants last year bearing similarities (yet only this plant that actually matured to flowering).
Another example which only showed the actual basal leaf last year is approx 50 yards away from this plant and another one was found at some 300 yards away, we will have to see this year if these two actually reach maturity rather than at the seedling stage which they remained last year.
Furthermore of special interest with this plant last year is that when we examined the "denticulation" of the leaf edges instead of showing what you would expect to be Helleborine, the pattern showed more in line with Atrorubens.  So obviously something strange is going on here.

This is our beautiful Schmalhauseneii No.15 and 16 and possibly 16a (Click over to enlarge)
Epipactis schmalhauseneii (hybrid) No 15 and 16 plus its looking like we will have a 16a this year because we have now today got three showing. You can see that we are already seeing some leaf nibbling going on and I searched for the culprit but nothing was found. We have the plant recorded since 2014. 2015 predated by probable (Harecut), 2016 only No.15 showed, so fingers crossed for this year.  The other photo below is showing them in full bloom back in 2014 when No.15 had a phenomenal 56 flowers (record for Hutton Roof) and No.16 had 40 flowers.

Epipactis Schmalhauseneii No's 15 and 16 back in 2014 (Click over to enlarge)
Unamed as yet - Epipactis Atrorubens (Click over to enlarge)
These plants are little beauties and keep coming through in a shady spot.  Unfortunately last year they were predated by deer before I got chance to study them properly although I had photographed them and booked them down for further investigation.  They are in a very interesting area which closeby already include: Schmalhauseneii (hybrid), Atrorubens, nearly Chlorantha, Purpurea's, so you can see there is plenty in the mix here and I am sure that these little beauties are going to prove very interesting indeed.

This was E. Atrorubens - Lemon Petalled No 55 today (Click over to enlarge)
 This beauty is already today standing at 14" high and is always the first "Lemon Petalled" to show through. Very closeby to this specimen are a further three which all seem to show the same "Lemon Petalled" detail.  I go on to show last years photo of the mature plant which can be clearly seen to show a light green stem. That in itself makes it so interesting.

This is E. Atrorubens - Lemon Petalled No. 55 in its maturity - Photo taken 1st July 2016
I have checked most of the rarer orchids and they all seem to be coming through in near enough their own territories and doing well to press.  I could find no evidence of deer, hare or other predation other than the leaf nibbling on 15,16,16a. It is far too early to form any judgement but at least for today all looks good.

Besides Epipactis I did also manage to record a couple more places for Angular Solomon's Seal and I am sure by now I must have got most of the Hutton Roof population. Also recorded several areas with Lily Of The Valley, but again when I check the records I probably have already got them recorded. A couple of records for Mountain Melick.

The bird scene was not good today with very little singing everything seemed more subdued than normal especially with the Warblers, although I did manage to hear a Redstart, a few Willow Warblers and a Chiffchaff, strange but no Garden Warblers today.

Nice to see yet another Small Pearl Bordered Butterfly on the wing.