Saturday, 22 June 2013

Sword-leaved Helleborines

I've been wanting to visit a certain site in Hampshire to see the Sword-leaved Helleborines for several years but just haven't got around to it. However, last Sunday we had to go to Winchester to clear out Martha's student flat and seeing as the site is only another twelve miles, I popped over there first. Most years it would have been way too late to see the Sword-leaved Helleborines which usually flower in May but everything is so retarded this year I was just about in time. They were mostly starting to go over and the wet weather hadn't helped either, causing them to go a bit brown in places but they were every bit as spectacular as I was hoping they'd be. I also saw Fly Orchid, Bird's Nest Orchid and White Helleborines in this superb little reserve. I wonder which orchids may be flowering locally when Martha moves into her new flat in a few weeks time?

In places the woodland floor is carpeted with the lovely spikes of this rare orchid.
The plants were more diminutive than I'd imagined but that's probably because all the photos I've seen of them show individual plants close up, like these...

Sword-leaved Helleborine

 Bird's Nest Orchid

Fly Orchid

White Helleborine.


Andrew Cunningham said...

That's a nice quartet of orchids Karen.

What's the situation with Culverhole. Has the landslip been removed to allow access along the beach?


Karen Woolley said...

Hi Andrew,

The path is open again. I haven't been to Culverhole yet this year. I'll let you know what I see when I do visit though. It appears to be quite a poor year so far for orchids on the Under cliffs. No greater butterflies at all and very few Common Spotted and I haven't seen any southern marsh either.

Andrew Cunningham said...

Brilliant, thanks. It will be good to visit for invertebrates and others anyway as that area is a rare substrate in Devon.

Now need to find a free day!