Friday, 29 June 2012

Friday 29th. June 2012

I spent the morning with grey skies and gusty wind , processing the remainder of the shots taken yesterday . A couple of heavy showers during the late morning were dried very quickly by that wind , and with some brightness showing , and prompted by an email received from a reserve Warden , I set off to see if I could find the 'unusual orchid' that was mentioned in that email . Finding a single orchid on a reserve would not be the easiest of tasks , but as I approached the area mentioned , I was so pleased to see the email sender , having just photographed the plant . So , what was this unusual orchid ? Lady's-slipper , Frog Orchid or Summer Lady's-tresses would have been nice , but Common Spotted-orchid ? How unusual is that ? The answer soon became apparent when I saw the plant in
question , looking nothing like the hundreds of other Common Spotted-orchids in flower over the
 bank . They were all variuos shades of pink/mauve , and all the flowers marked with lines and dots .
Looking at a single flower of the unusual orchid , the colour was reddish-purple , so markings were
evident , whereas the 'normal' plant looks completely different . This was the first time I have ever seen Common Spotted-orchid / Dactylorhiza fuchsii var.rhodochila , first recorded in Lincolnshire in 1979 . Many thanks to the Warden for letting me see this rare plant . I must admit , after the Warden left the site , I had a good look round , searching for any more specimens , but I didn't find any .
Whilst looking , I found a few patches of another of my favourite flowers , with the fabulous name , the delicate Squinancywort / Asperula cynanchica , a member of the Bedstraw family . The flowers
of Perforated St.John's Wort / Hypericum perforatum , which seem to have taken forever to open this year , have now done so . Also found were some large specimens of Self-heal / Prunella vulgaris ,
another member of the large Labiate family . Being large , the much overlooked flowers of this plant came into their own . Yellow seems to be dominating the flower colour at the moment , with the St.John's Wort , the Hawkbits and Hawkweeds , the Buttercups and Ribbed Melilot , and now being
joined by Nipplewort / Lapsana communis . With rain in the wind again , I decided it was time to get back to the car and home , finding either Dog Rose / Rosa canina or Field Rose / R.arvensis along the
footpath along the way , but couldn't decide which one it was . But I've just made an executive decision , and I'm going for the latter .


Ken. said...

What a pleasure it must have been for you to see such a rare orchid.
Nice display of plants to brighten up your daily blog.

Orchids and Nature said...

The common spotted orchid is so unusual it's a beauty.

ShySongbird said...

Well done Greenie! You are having a good time at the moment, what a treat to see that rare form of orchid.

I totally agree regarding the larger Selfheal I found some myself recently and thought they were just as lovely as any orchid! No arguments with the wild rose, I took some photos the other day of some I'm not too sure of, it was a lot easier some years ago when I thought they were all Dog Roses :-)