Friday, 28 June 2013

COMMON-SPOTTED ORCHID





A couple of days ago I went in search of Orchids.

The first place I looked at, I remembered it from last year's breathtaking display,  was rather disappointing!  It's a National Trust property and all through the winter and early spring it's been grazed by their small herd of Belted Galloway cattle unfortunately it looks like they've had rather a drastic effect on the Orchids...not one to be seen anywhere!!


The second site fared much better with a grand display of predominantly Common-spotted Orchids a few Fragrant Orchids and the odd spike of Pyramidal Orchid there was also a good selection of Common Twayblade.


It wasn't until I began to process the images and identify the different species that I noticed that there is a big variation in the colour and markings of the Common-spotted Orchid....Ah ha! I thought, a good subject for a blog post!



The Common-spotted Orchid (dactylorhiza fuchsii) can grow up to70cm tall. it has numerous narrow pointed basal leaves that are spotted or blotched with purple/ brown marks that can vary considerably in shape and density. The flower spike is made up of closely packed flowers that can vary in colour from pale lilac through pink to white. The lip is marked with a symmetrical  pattern of one to three purple loops and varying amounts of dots.


Have you noticed that the word 'varying' seems to crop up rather a lot when describing this Orchid?

I hope the following images will make things a little clearer!




Orchid country....just a small area of the magnificent display















































 I think you'll agree a very challenging flower to ID even before you add into the mix the hybrids that can occur when they grow in proximity to other species.













21 comments:

douglas mcfarlane said...

Great images Trevor, if you thought I was awful with butterfly id you can imagine what I'm like with orchids, are you aware Summer Leys is a good spot for both Bee Orchids (is that the right name) and occasionally a Marsh Orchid has been mentioned, the best spot is the bank along the scrape as you head for the main single tier hide in the carpark area.

Frank said...

Super series of images Trevor.

I never knew there were so many variations ... just another fact to store away in the memory.

holdingmoments said...

Cracking set of images Trevor, and beautifully presented

The Herald said...

Thanks Douglas. I'm sure nature is just out to confuse us..but in a beautiful way!
Thanks for the heads up with Summer Leys,I'll have to give it a look see! I've not found any Bee Orchids yet this year, the normal place I photograph them, a public meadow, seems to have been 'treated' with a chemical spray of some sort and is now a rusty brown colour!

The Herald said...

Thanks Frank, Yeh, just like birds, when you think you've got it sorted nature just throws in a curve ball!...[;o)

The Herald said...

Thanks Keith...[;o)

Roy Norris said...

Beautiful images Trevor, its always a pleasure to view your work.
Yes Orchids are discipline all of their own. I get confused (which isn't difficult) by all the Hybrids in the mix.
Did those Belties have e guilty look about them.{:))

grammie g said...

Hi Trevor...My gosh they are just stunning gorgeous plants!!
So fascinating how those patterns are so close ,but not the same "amazing"!!
Fantastic photo's : )
Grace

ADRIAN said...

I love this presentation.
It is a good year for Orchids up here but they are not to be seen in these quantities.

The Herald said...

Thanks Roy. Yeh, nature can be very confusing at times, I should learn to make more detailed observations when taking the photographs instead of later relying on my memory!!
I don't know what the theory is with the Belties but they seem to have decimated a large area that used to be a wild flower haven! however I guess nature will bounce back eventually!...[;o)

The Herald said...

Hi Grace...Thank you. The variety and beauty of nature constantly amazes me...[;o)

Thanks Adrian, From what I've seen so far there seems to be a shortage of Orchids here this year, definitely not as many as last year!...[;o)

Margaret Adamson said...

HI Trevor Wonderful set of shots of this beautiful flowers. Yesterday I posted some Orchids but don't know if they are all Common Spotted. Can you have a look for me and advise. Have a great weekend. Margaret

FOREST SNAPPER said...

You have done well with the id of these plants and the photos are 1st class.

peter

ADRIAN said...

I think they are just running late.

The Herald said...

Thank you Margaret. I'll have a look and see what I can do!...[;o)


Thank you Peter...[;o)


I guess you're right Adrian, they're on a par with everything else so far this year!...[;o)

Bob Bushell said...

Lovely Orchids, the best in the our country.

The Herald said...

Thank you Bob...[;o)

ShySongbird said...

Beautiful photos of these lovely and fascinating flowers Trevor, the picked out detail was a great idea. The amount of variation does make them a nightmare to identify, well it does for me! So nice to see them all massed together too, a lovely sight.

The Herald said...

Thank you Jan, They are beautiful to see but, as you say, a nightmare to ID (it's much the same with everything else!...lol)especially when you throw the hybrids into the mix!...[;o)

Maria said...

I've seen your comments at Adrian's blog and I will start following you. Although right now I live in the tropics (Puerto Rico), I like your flowers too.

The Herald said...

Maria, welcome and thank you...[;o)