Monday, 16 July 2012

Marsh Helleborine

A visit to Mapledurwell Fen last week during another respite from the rain was made in the hope of finding the marsh helleborine.  The fen is managed by the Hampshire and IOW Wildlife Trust and is wet at the moment which the plants seemed to appreciate.  Among the profusion of other orchids were the helleborines, which were really nice to see.  Also seen for the first time were the bog pimpernel (Anagallis tenella), the large bird's food trefoil (Lotus pedicularis) and Hoary Wllowherb (Epilobium parviflorum) among others.  The marsh valerians were present but had gone to seed so I'll pop in earlier next year.  The main treat however was the Epipactis palustris.

Epipactis palustris (Marsh Helleborine)

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Loddon flood plain between Old Basing and Basingstoke

As we had 24 hours without rain for the first time for a long period, I briefly visited the Loddon flood plain again and was amazed at the height and density of vegetation that had grown since my last visit.  Clearly it had benefitted from the recent rainy season.  Identified my first Fragrant Orchid (Gymnadania conopsea) with specimens on the edge of the flood plain and at the entrance to the Lime Pits car park.  Lovely deep pink flowers living up to their name with a sweet fragrance.  Conspicuous on the damp areas by the river were several valerians (Valeriana officinalis).  Not really time for a good hunt around as the light was fading.

Fragrant Orchid (Gymnadania conopsea)