Saturday, 22 July 2017

Variagated Helleborine and Other great Orchids etc

Saturday 22nd July 2017 - Hutton Roof 1500hrs to 1700hrs

This boulder in front of you just is something special!! read on (Click over to enlarge)
To say I have been going past this boulder within yards for 3 or 4 years at least and almost on a daily basis during the "Orchid" season.  I have never noticed before.  It has Ash, Hawthorn and Gorse growing from it and they are quite well established eg: 4 to 5 ft high.  Also it has a good covering of mosses and ferns growing at its base. So what a very accommodating boulder which is without doubt bringing everything to life! I will salute to it on passing in the future.....Gosh looking at this photo I guess it looks spooky!  well just for the record it is...

The only birds I had calling to day were several young "Green Woodpeckers" they seemed to be everywhere and so noisy! some from that side of the fell and some from this side of the fell, other than that is was superquiet!

Butterflies included: Wow did not expect Small Heath they have been out now for ages, some Meadow Browns and the beautiful Dark Green Fritillary.

Had lots of horrible nasty flies forever attacking! I tried having a  "swipe swipe" but reactions seem to be just a little slow these days. I need to brush up on my reflex skills..

It was nice to see the ovaries bulging! on most of the spent atroruben orchids which confirms that good propagation should take place this year.  Another week or two and that should start to "set the seed" as they say.

What I really wanted to do today was to check out our rare Variagated Helleborine orchid which has recently started to flower.

Full length plant photo on Sat 22nd July 2017 (Click over to enlarge)

Mid section of Vari 1 on 22nd July 2017 (Click over to enlarge)

Close up of Variagated 1 on 22nd July 2017

This is a fabulous but strange plant and although at present I have to keep a open mind it may well turn out to be a "mix" at the end of the day, let me explain.  I am curious why it should have "atrorubens" denticulation patterns on the edges of its leaves (although that was last years results it has not yet been checked out this year). 

Also I can't be 100% at this stage but maybe the plant is losing its variagation, here is last years photo which does show more variagation especially around the ovaries etc:

2016 photo of the same plant (Click over to enlarge)
Also worthy of note is a immature plant set about 2 metres away which shows variagation in the leaves, but the plant did not grow any height.  Also set about 50 yards away another variagation large two leaved effort within the nearby copse never did much this year in fact if anything the plant again never progressed and may have lost some of its variagation.  It will be interesting to see how it develops over the coming ten days. 

A beautiful Helleborine today 22nd July 2017

Above is a lovely helliborine starting to come through today.

But its also been a nightmare on HR today, we must have lost at least 20 helliborines in the past 48 hours - a few with Brown Hare but at one particular spot today the deer had took 10 of our beauties some of them over 3ft high (see next photo). A disaster for us now from 100 on this particular pavement is already down to about 40 surviving plants (as I write).

Showing 3 of our best helleborines fallen prey to deer
(Click over to enlarge)

Next is a little beauty called "Escarp Juniper" and its a lovely atrorubens which again is late coming through every year.  It lies within Juniper and has lovely contrasting flowers.

Escarp Juniper "atrorubens" (Click over to enlarge)
Escarp Juniper "atrorubens" close up
(Click over to enlarge)