Thursday, 7 May 2009

Can anyone identify this plant?

Whilst I don't claim to be any sort of expert when it comes to nature, I have lived quite a while and do like to spend time outside, so I have accumulated some knowledge of the natural world. But on a recent walk, I spotted a flower that wasn't at all familiar.

It had the look of an orchid, so I took a few photographs of it just to allow me to grab the nature book back at the car and find out what it was. I only had my compact camera with me as it was very cold, blowing a gale and I couldn't be bothered man-handling the SLR that day. Due to the wind and it's location under trees and adjacent to a wall, it was hard getting the shutter speed up fast enough to freeze it from moving in the breeze, so this is the best shot I got.

Please click on the photo to see a larger copy.

The leaves adjacent are not part of the plant, I think they're garlic plants that were just in bud at the time. There was a patch of flower stalks like this just sticking out of the ground - about half a dozen, all seemingly with flowers appearing just on the one face. They're a pinky-neutral colour and the best approximation I can make from my books is that it's a Bird's Nest Orchid.

Bird's Nest Orchids are reported as being associated with close proximity to Beech or Yew trees, but from the leaves in the photos you can see the predominant trees in the area are oaks.

Please click on the photo to see a larger copy.

My books and the searching I've done seem to have turned up photos that are similar, but the Bird's Nest Orchids seem to be all of a single colour (as they lack chlorophyll) without any sort of patterning and somewhat glutinous looking. These seem to have some variation in the colour, with pink tones, so I wonder if they're actually something different?

The photographs were taken along the western shore of Windermere, just adjacent to the path along the lake between Red Nab and Wray Castle. It's a busy and popular spot for walkers, cyclists and horse riders and the flowers were only inches from walkers, I was stood on the path when I took the photos.

1 comment:

niftyknits said...

they do look "orchidy" don't they? I blogged some common orchids here http://niftyknits-somuchyarnsolittletime.blogspot.com/2009/05/wild-flowers.html maybe thy'rea a variant?

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