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-1979||6-Jul-1980||Home Wood, Potsgrove CWS||SP955294||SP92P|
|3-May-1980||3-May-1980||Palmers Shrubs CWS||SP981315||SP93V|
|25-Aug-1981||25-Aug-1981||Washers and Daintry Woods CWS||SP995313||SP93V|
|13-May-1980||6-Aug-1980||Park Wood CWS||SP933582||SP95J|
|1-Jan-1980||31-Dec-1980||Great Oaks Wood CWS||SP965537||SP95R|
|30-May-1989||30-May-1989||Exeter Wood CWS||TL098443||TL04X|
|1-Jan-1981||31-Dec-1981||Great Wood, Ravensden||TL064555||TL05S|
|30-May-1989||30-May-1989||Warden Great Wood CWS||TL110432||TL14B|
|30-May-1989||30-May-1989||Exeter Wood CWS||TL100442||TL14C|
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.
Here are the old records for Violet helleborine that need visiting again, although any ancient woodland may hold this species.
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.