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Help please Ben!

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will View Drop Down
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    Posted: 08 Jun 2014 at 7:04pm
Hi Ben

as our resident expert on all things botanical, can you ID what I assume is an orchid for me please?  I'm ashamed to say my knowledge of them is almost zero.  Found on a Dorset hillside. 




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Liz Heard View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Liz Heard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jun 2014 at 8:47pm
Hi Will,

i think it's a beautiful Greater Butterfly Orchid Platanthera chlorantha. We have these locally.

Nice find!
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will View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote will Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jun 2014 at 7:07am
thanks Ben, much appreciated! it seemed to be the only one, amongst a host of common spotted (I think...) orchids. Certainly was very elegant indeed.
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Liz Heard View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Liz Heard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jun 2014 at 8:37pm
No problem Will - although i'm certainly no expert! I just know more flora taxa that some other people! I get to know these species as i encounter them; whenever i see a plant i don't recognise, my interest is provoked, so i take notes/pics and investigate it later via field guides/ispot/google. Get out and do that regularly over years and before you know it, you build up a fair portfolio of species. Then you can target those that you haven't observed but are have become aware of along the way - just like euroherpers and subspecies etc i suppose.
As with UK herps though, for me, its the native species i find in their natural habitat around me (plus common garden escapes and archaeophytes) that i'm most interested in, rather than the myriad garden plant species - yawn!

Judging by what i've seen locally, among Orchids, the Common Spotted, the Pyramidal and the Early Purple seem to be some of the best recolonisers. How pleasing it is, to observe them defiantly flicking 2 fingers from roadsides and occasionally, even occurring in gardens.
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will View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote will Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jun 2014 at 10:42am
Thanks again, Ben. I don't think I had realised there were so many species of orchid native to the UK. Yes, cultivars always seem much more garish and unsubtle than the natives, to me.
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AGILIS View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AGILIS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jun 2014 at 5:49pm
Hi W ive seen a odd spider orchid and and also the one you tagged over Wogret keith
   LOCAL ICYNICAL CELTIC ECO WARRIOR AND FAILED DRUID
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Liz Heard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jun 2014 at 6:51pm
Yes, there are many species of orchid Will (quite a few i've yet to see) and some of them can be hellish to disambiguate from one another - despite all the expert guidance available. And to make matters worse, quite a few similar species share habitat and hybridise. It drives me nuts sometimes!

As UK orchids go, this species is a favourite of mine. It is large, spectacular, fairly widespread and, once seen, easy to ID - a bit like GCN. Keep an eye out for it in woodland or along rides, particularly on calcareous soils:

Pictured specimen is around a metre tall!



Some less cryptic pics:





Living up to it's common name, Broad-leaved Helleborine Epipactis helleborine has deeply-veined ovate leaves nearly as wide as they are long, arranged in a spiral up the thin, towering stem.

By the way Will, if you or anyone else reading this sees a Stinkhorn Fungus (very easy to ID - it looks just like an erect human penis) on sandy heathland or dune habitat while out herping for sand lizards, please take some pics, note the location and post or let me know. You may have been lucky enough to find the mysterious Phallus hadriani, the Sand Stinkhorn, (as opposed to the slightly smaller and far less rare Stinkhorn Phallus impudicus). I've never seen a Sand Stinkhorn and records for it are few - perhaps partly because this type of habitat is much less species rich (fungi-wise) and so is seldom visited by mycologists and foraying groups.
As i understand it, P. hadriani is mostly known from southern England and is mainly coastal. New records for/pics of this amazing fungus would be splendid!

all the best!
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will View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote will Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jun 2014 at 10:00pm
Hi Ben

that's a giant orchid!  I have heard that there are plenty of phalluses visible on Studland Heath - just not the right sortLOL...but I'll keep an eye out (when do they appear?)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AGILIS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jun 2014 at 9:44am
Hi Will when herping on Studland you can get mistaken for a phallus watcher when creeping around the bushes that why I go to the lesser visited spots Keith
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jun 2014 at 10:38pm
This orchid is in a pot in my garden. It lives in the greenhouse over winter. The orchid was given to me over ten years ago by an old man, a gardener, and labelled 'wild orchid'. I keep it in the same pot and add new compost occasionally. I think it's beautiful. Any ideas on name?


Suz
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