Sunday 29 May 2011

Fly Orchids and Herb Paris

Today Bun and me went to a wood in Dorset to look for Fly Orchid and also Herb Paris. I believe (well I've certainly read somewhere) that this location is the furthest west that Fly Orchids can be found in England. I saw the orchids here in 2009 but couldn't find the Herb Paris which would have been a new plant for me. Bun hadn't seen either plant so obviously the excitement was almost too much to bear on his part! When I visited this wood in 2009 I was under the impression it was a private woodland and therefore only looked for plants near the roadside, I've since discovered that it is actually a Dorset Wildlife Trust reserve. Being able to venture into the wood made all the difference and both plants were soon found. There were around twenty Fly Orchids most of which had 'gone over' already, and around thirty Herb Paris plants in one large clump. I didn't get very good photos of the orchids last time and was hoping to do better but I don't think I did. It was just too gloomy to get good macro shots with my point and shoot. Woodland subjects tend to show up its limitations somewhat.
Single specimens of Fly Orchid can look very inconspicuous (it's right in the centre)
My two best efforts.
Fascinating plants, which I was just as thrilled to see as when I had my first views of them two years ago. I don't think I'd ever get tired of seeing them.
I resorted to using the flash. I rather like the results because you can see the almost furry appearance of the flower's lip.
 Herb Paris: A much looked for but never seen (until today) plant
 Its scientific name is Paris quadrifolia 
which literally means four equal leaves, and you can see why... although..
...some plants are rebels!
 The spiky protuberance in the centre is the not ever-so colourful but nonetheless beautifully constructed flower.
 The black ovary in the centre becomes a single black berry.

A good morning then, with a new plant species for me and two for Bun. That wasn't all though. On the way home things got even better when we spotted a sign for what must be the deal of the century!

What normal human being could resist ... Free string!!

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