Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Helleborines are back... sites to check...

Reports of the first Broad-leaved helleborines in flower are coming in. As with other species there is a list of sites  that have old, but no recent records. Some of these woods will not have access and will require permission to visit, please make every effort to gain legitimate access if you intend visiting. Gamekeepers will be preparing woods for game  and will not apreciate tresspass, although access on footpaths  is fine where rights of way exist.

30-May-19796-Jul-1980Home Wood, Potsgrove CWSSP955294SP92P
24-Jun-194927-Aug-1950Blackgrove WoodSP97902362SP92R
3-May-19803-May-1980Palmers Shrubs CWSSP981315SP93V
25-Aug-198125-Aug-1981Washers and Daintry Woods CWSSP995313SP93V
13-May-19806-Aug-1980Park Wood CWSSP933582SP95J
1-Jan-198031-Dec-1980Great Oaks Wood CWSSP965537SP95R
8-Aug-18858-Aug-1885Kidney WoodTL0919TL01Z
1-Jun-188830-Jun-1888Stockwood ParkTL01ZTL01Z
19-Jul-19494-Sep-1950Wilstead WoodTL073426TL04R
30-May-198930-May-1989Exeter Wood CWSTL098443TL04X
1-Jan-198131-Dec-1981Great Wood, RavensdenTL064555TL05S
1-Aug-184431-Aug-1844ShillingtonShillington WoodTL13BTL13B
30-May-198930-May-1989Warden Great Wood CWSTL110432TL14B
30-May-198930-May-1989Exeter Wood CWSTL100442TL14C
17981798Sheerhatch WoodTL14ITL14I
29/08/198829/08/1988Potton WoodTL247498TL24P
29/08/198829/08/1988Potton WoodTL246500TL25K

If one of these is near you please have a look over the coming month or so. Broad-leaved helleborines can be found mostly in woodland, but also occasionally in grassland or on woodland rides.
Please take a photo if you are in any doubt to identity, they can be quite variable in flower colour and even shape. Leaf shape and their arrangement on the stem is also important.

Broad-leaved helleborine. Richard Revels

Note broad leaves usually spirally arranged on stem rather than two rows opposite each other. Lower leaves as broad as is wide.

Broad-leaved Helleborine. Photo Richard Revells. Flowers may vary in colour with some almost wine red others green.

The Violet Helleborine  will be coming out soon. Keep an eye out for this attractive plant in the Studham/Whipsnade area. Even a trip to the Zoo could reveal the purple tinged stems beneath trees on the top of the chalk scarp!
But be prepared to see this plant in even small woods anywhere in the county. It can tolerate deep shade.
Here are two of Richard Revels` photos of Violet Helleborine.

Violet Helleborine..violet tinged stems and leaves. Lower leaves longer than wide.

Violet Helleborine

Here are the old records for Violet helleborine that need visiting again, although any ancient woodland may hold this species.

c. 1900 Woburn Abbey woods SP93R SP93R
1945 1953 Toddington Herne Green SP9930 SP93V
1953 Holcot Wood SP9540 SP94K
9-Jul-1949 5-Sep-1950 Marston Thrift woodland SP97504175 SP94Q
1989 1989 Studham garden lawn - formerly woodland TL01C TL01C
5-Aug-1997 5-Aug-1997 Whipsnade Heath CWS TL01551840 TL01E
1880 1880 Zouche’s Farm Copse near. TL02K TL02K
Luton TL02V TL02V
1-Jan-1990 31-Dec-1995 Kings Wood and Glebe Meadows, Houghton Conquest SSSI TL047397 TL03P
c.1890 Silsoe TL03X TL03X
c.1890 Clophill TL03Z TL03Z
1953 Luton Hoo TL11E TL11E
23-Jul-1983 23-Jul-1983 Horsleys Wood CWS TL132191 TL11J
c.1900 Tingley Field Plantation Tingley Wood Plantation TL1330 TL13F
      SP93R SP93R
          SP9930 SP93V
      SP9540 SP94K
          SP97504175 SP94Q
          TL01C TL01C
        TL01551840 TL01E
          TL02K TL02K
    TL02V TL02V
        TL047397 TL03P
      TL03X TL03X
      TL03Z TL03Z
      TL11E TL11E
        TL132191 TL11J
        TL1330 TL13F
The Green-flowered Helleborine is a rare orchid in Bedfordshire but nevertheless worth looking out for.
We have records submitted  already for the Barton cutting on the A6 in traditional areas.  The new woodland associated with the cutting may hold this species as it has some reputation of appearing in new locations, and any woodland should be looked at in the Barton to Pegsdon area.

The "Barton Caves" area on Old Road Barton being one old location.

Green-flowered Helleborine. Photo Richard Revels. Was also known as Pendulous- flowered Helleborine the flowers dangling on large pods. The flowers are frequently not as open as this and are self -pollinated.

Green-flowered Helleborine. Photo Richard Revels. Ovaries hairless

Green-flowered Helleborine with irregular clumps of cilia along leaf margin compared with an even fringe in other Helleborines.

A hand lens is useful here!

Good luck with your searches and i look forward to your records.