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Friday, 30 August 2013

Violet Helleborine in a Sussex wood, yesterday.

This Helleborine was photographed in a shaft of bright sunlight.
And above, the same plant with flash photography.  It is setting seed well and is lucky to not have been trampled by the dog that failed to find its ball just four feet away.
There were only three or four plants.  On another the last flowers were just about to set seed.


Wayne Reed said...

I've discovered what I believe to be a violet helleborine beside a cycle track near Hailsham. It differs from your photograph in that only the emerging stem has any green in it. The base leaves are entirely violet - with the typical waxy appearance of orchids. It isn't in great shape and I fear may not actually blossom. If you are able to confirm the species from photographs I would be grateful. In any event, thank you for producing such an informative and interesting site.

Sussexrambler said...

Thank you Wayne. It certainly sounds like a Violet Helleborine. They are not rare: just very difficult to find as they are rather unspectacular as you are aware. Fully violet examples do occur and may live saprophytically like a Birds nest orchid.

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