Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Extremely rare Red Helleborines , privileged to see these in flower in the Cotswolds

The Red Helleborine is the second rarest Orchid in the U.K. classified as "Critically Endangered"
It now only survives at 3 small sites in the entire U.K. with only a small handful of plants at each . Luckily one of these sites is in Gloucestershire and even more luckily when we visited this weekend ( 1st July ) there were 4 plants that had flowered. It's not possible to get close to the plants as they are protected in a fenced enclosure . So armed with a tripod and the only zoom lenses we had that would fit the holes in the wire, we took the best shots we could in the windy conditions and shadows of the trees. The bright pink , distinctive flowers were easy to spot amongst the green undergrowth. The close up photos are not macro shots but crops from the picture immediately below them which accounts for the average image quality.
I've included a shot of Simon at the tripod outside the mini plant Colditz so you can see what we were up against.

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At 11:46 pm , Blogger The Glebe Blog said...

The county flower of Banffshire, beautiful.

At 10:44 am , Blogger Mike said...

I was confused by this as the Red Helleborine has only ever grown in the South of England . Turns out the county Flower of Banffshire is the Dark Red Helleborine ... maybe they could have made the names a bit more distinct : )
The dark red only grows in the North so no chance to stumble on one in the Cotswolds. They actually look very different from each other.


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