Saturday, 8 July 2017

It's been Orchids all the way and what a mixed bag we have!! (5th,6th and 7th July 2017)

Friday 7th July 2017 - Hutton Roof 0930hrs to 1500hrs

Decided from the off to check out the area where we have the 17s, so on arrival started mapping, photographing, measuring and listing the detail of all the special plants in this given area.  I started with the old original 17 specimen which is a lovely light green stemmed schmalhausenii, then listed all the other specials which took me from 17,17a up to and including 17T (which meant over 20 new listed hybrids) yet to what degree are they hybrids.

Well perhaps the most striking thing about this area is that nearly every specimen of what we for now call Atrorubens do show Helleborine stem and leaves and this being the case does actually indicate hybridization.  In some cases the leaves are exceptionally large "Helleborine" types. So all this makes it really interesting.  I will try and show you a few examples in today's diary blog below and I am sure you will agree they are big!.

I do want to start with specimens 17d,17e,17f this is the beautiful trio which was kindly showed to me recently by Pauline and Ian (Chorley).  These plants are obviously from the same mould as one another and all carry the same characteristics with the unique light mixed colourings, the very interesting brown ovaries, and the striking white epichile and bosses. These plants do have a atrorubens leaf although there is far too much "lightness" for them to be pure atroruben, again indications with a massive helleborine influence. 

Specimen 17d,17e and 17f (Click over to enlarge)
And the following photo is a close up showing the beautiful white epichile and bosses of these light phase plants.

Today's photo of Specimen 17d (Click over to enlarge

And this next photo is of 17j which is one of first I want to show you which has the extra large Helleborine leaves which are quietly being nibbled away. Also you can see the beautiful Limestone fern surrounding the lovely hybrid. 

Specimen 17j (Click over to enlarge)
The next one to show you is 17k which we originally had named Spec 71 and listed as a Schmalhausenii hybrid.  Of special interest within this photograph is again the huge "helleborine" leaves.

Specimen 17k (Click over to enlarge. 
This next photo shows the lovely duo 17g and 17h 

Specimens 17g and 17h
This 17n is a lovely plant and near hazel bush cover, very strong plant again with large "helleborine leaves".  There are a couple more of these strong plants which have succumb to deer predation.  These same plants cop it year in year out with the deer.  I have these deer hotspots marked out, its a question of you win some and you lose some.

I am sure from the last few photos you are realising the situation with the very large basal leaves which normally would not belong or should I say be expected on a atrorubens plant!!.

Specimen 17n on 7th July 2017 (Click over to enlarge)
And finally I would like to show you 17r which is a lovely plant again with more regular helleborine leaves but this time more long and pointed they look great!

Specimen 17r on 7th July 2017 (Click over to enlarge)
Like I said earlier most specimens in this area are Atrorubens flowers with Helliborine leaves. I do feel especially in this area it is a "hybrid epidemic" we have on our hands and I don't think it is all so complicated as that! but even more so with certain breed backs which must be complicating the issue even further.

Probably this will have been going on for a long time and I just can't wait for some sort of DNA analysis to try and confirm whats going on here.  That alone will not be a easy task to work out with all the "back crosses" that could well have taken place. 

Thursday 6th July 2017 - Hutton Roof 1230hrs to 1600hrs

It was sad to see that Mr. Hare had taken off that same special plant which I posted only yesterday Schmal specimen 15c which had been the record for Hutton Roof with 62 flowers. Here is a photo of how it looked today:

Specimen 15c (Schmal) predated by Mr. Hare
See further down on yesterdays diary.
He also managed to devastate two further plants which where closeby and also which I highlighted on yesterday as two very special specimens Nos 40 and 4a

Specimens 40 and 40a predated by Mr. Hare
See further down on yesterday's diary.
A lovely plant new for this year is Escarp 13 (lempet) which is showing very close to some nice schmal hybrids.

Escarp 13 (lempet) today (Click over to enlarge)
see next photo for closer plume

Escarp 13 (lempet) today (Click over to enlarge)
Nice specimen of lemon-petalled

This next plant was a little beauty and for me probably the most stunning of the day it is at present not named but will come in the vicinity of the 17s.  The petals were of a perfect contrast for a "atrorubens" but of special note were the basal leaves. The looked to me to be a in-between a helleborine and a atrorubens.  You would probably be of no doubt surprised to find that most of the atrorubens in the 17 area show a Helleborine likeness in the leaves, and could account for over 20 atrorubens or possible hybrids. At least it will give me something to work on the next few days.  So hopefully more photos tomorrow of some of the magnificent plants from here.

Unamed as yet - but in the 17 area
(Click over to enlarge and check out the leaves)

Same plant as above (Click over to enlarge)
To finish off today here is one plant (below) that just cannot make up its mind what it is! and this is just how it comes up every year Specimen No.65. It seems to hang its head for ages and ages and ages, but yet it should in a week or so will give us a clue to what it really is! I am sure you will agree it looks very much like a Helleborine, but why on earth would a helleborine have a atrorubens stem! it is actually surrounded by about 10 helleborines and maybe some 15 atrorubens and 2 definate hybrids (no's 70 and 70a).  I cannot remember how it turned out but think that "atrorubens" flowers will come through. I have noticed the plant has some rust disease which is quite notable especially in helleborine or hybrids.

Specimen 65 - really does not know what it wants to be!

Wednesday 5th July 2017 - Hutton Roof 1000hrs to 1600hrs

A really good day taking Alan's party on their annual visit together with Ian who had travelled all the way from London to check out our fine orchids on Hutton Roof. The weather was great and we got to see all the regular specialities.  Here is a few photos from today.

The first photo shows Specimen 15c (which is a schmal) and originates from our Specimen 15 which was also showing some 20 ft away. This special one 15c has no less than 62 flowers and is a record for Hutton Roof.

Specimen 15c today 5th July 2017 (Click to enlarge)

This is another beauty "Escarp 8" of which to me would
qualify somewhere for a "hybrid"
Another photo update on our very special "Escarp No.8" which is so beautiful.  Although it does resemble in lots of ways the old established "Palens variety of atrorubens".  I have moved on and not happy with that!  When you look at it is quite obvious there is lots of "helleborine" within the plant example good light coloured stem, fairly reasonable light green ovaries.  So for now I have decided to name it as "Escarp No.8" until we are in a position to take DNA because I am fairly sure within myself that this will be a "hybrid" of some degree. I would not go along with schmalhausenii simply because you would normally associate this with a strong reddish flowered plant.  Hybrid should be good enough

The next is specimen 40 which is lempet together with 40a.  They have come up as a duo for the past two years. But prior to this (2014 and 2015) it was just a single plant of about 19" with 33 flowers.  The pair are so photogenic as you can see here.

Specimen 40 and 40a - Lempets (Click to enlarge)

This next one is Specimen 17c which is from a fabulous trio and thought to be possible schmals (to be confirmed). Its thanks to Pauline and Ian for bringing these to my attention. We do have at least four superb specimens in the area of 17 although I did notice two had been predated in the past 36 hours. Of particular interest you will notice from the photo that the epichile and bosses are white. 

Specimen 17c (Click over to enlarge)