Bee Orchid var. belgarum and Early Marsh Orchid ssp cochinea, 24 June 2019

Today began with a last minute decision to head up to NW Norfolk. Since the colony at Overstrand died out I'd not seen Early Marsh Orchid of the ssp cochinea for some years. As it's such a stunning looking plant with it's unique red colouration I wanted to re-connect with it and luckily I found quite a few in the dune slacks it favours. Also in the same area I had Southern Marsh Orchids (including a hybrid or 2, one of which looked like what used to be referred to as 'Leopard Marsh Orchid'), Pyramidal Orchids and a single Common Spotted Orchid. In the dunes I was also treated to some nice close views of a Cuckoo, a Lesser Whitethroat heralded my arrival and there were Painted Ladies everywhere.

Fast forward to the evening when, while back at home I learned of the discovery of a Bee Orchid of the belgarum variety near Norwich. After I was kindly given directions I shot straight up there and found it with ease. This variation is identified by a yellow band across the oval shaped lip and is surprisingly distinctive. What a stunner and in East Anglia almost unheard of!

Early Marsh Orchids ssp cochinea

Hybrid Southern Marsh x Common Spotted Orchids (the 2nd pic showing the leaf blotches previously thought to indicate what was called Leopard Marsh Orchid)

 Bee Orchid var. belgarum


No comments:

Post a Comment