Sunday, 19 June 2016

Fen Orchid: a new species for me!

Not far from my house is a terrific little nature reserve that holds a good range of odonata and lepidoptera, but also a rich variety of wild flowers.

A walk around before the Grand Prix produced one - possibly three - new species of orchid as well as a delicate little Catchfly of some sort: help gratefully received!

The definite first was a clump of gorgeous little Fen Orchids: these are only available at a couple of sites in Norfolk. Additionally, I'm pretty sure I photographed a few Pugsley's Marsh Orchids: again help required! Lastly, I found a delicate orchid about 20cm tall: the flowers had just about finished, but it looked like a Helleborine of some sort...




James Emerson said...

Hi David.

Some of those marsh orchids do look like Pugsleys, however the latest genetic studies have shown that all of the 'southern' populations (i.e. south of a line from Wales across to the top of the wash) are actually genetically a sort of form of Southern Marsh Orchid, and true Pugsleys are only found further north. I've not read Simon Harraps recent orchid book to see if he accepts that decision.

The seeds do look Helleborine-like, although plants in seed aren't a speciality! Most Helleborines flower later in the summer, combined with that site it could only be Marsh Helleborine I think.

I know what you mean about the white flower, but I don't think its a Catchfly, which would have lots of hairs. I suspect it is a rather small example of a white-flowered variant of Ragged Robin. Incidentally Small-flowered Catchfly grows on a roadside nature reserve on the edge of Strumpshaw village if you are interested.


David said...

Thanks for all your help, James. I must say: I/d of some botanicals is pretty complex at times!