Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Emerging Twayblades..watch out for the teeth!

The poor weather continues with the coldest March for fifty years.
However our orchids are starting to send up shoots and the spotted leaves of the early purples have been recorded from Potton wood.

Twayblades are also just appearing as stubby green shoots, usually to be found in woodland and scrubby areas but also grassland.  Those seen on the last day of March were about 2cm high.

 On first glance the shoots look similar to the emerging leaves of Lords and Ladies or arum lilly that grows in the same habitat.
Twayblades usually have just one pair of broad leaves, although some may have one or more than two. The emerging leaves are rolled together and have a distictive "fang" at the apex. The arum shoots have only one rolled leaf that looks like a shoot as it emerges and although with a pointed apex lacks the "fang".

So with care  have a go and record twayblade shoots, it is useful in situations where deer or rabbits nip the shoots off and so become hard to see once the other vegetation has grown up.
Good hunting!
Twayblade shoot at Sewell in March. Showing rolled pair of leaves and "fangs"

Twayblade shoot at Sewell in March from above showing rolled pair of leaves and "fangs"

Arum shoots at Sewell in March showing single rolled leaf with pointed apex but no "fangs"