Newbury Green Flowered Helleborine

After work tonight, I took a bit of a detour, well 40 miles of detour actually, in order to photograph Green Flowered Helleborines (Epipactis phyllanthes) at a site next to the A343 just south of Newbury.

There were loads of GFH at this site, but as there isn’t much in the way of verge its a pretty scary place to set up the tripod and camera as the traffic flies by at high speed.

I donned a high vis vest, which I would recommend as a necessity for everyones safety at this site.

Here are the best of todays crop of shots.

20140728_(The Chase, Newbury)_4027
Green Flowered Helleborine (Epipactis phyllanthes)
20140728_(The Chase, Newbury)_4040
Green Flowered Helleborine (Epipactis phyllanthes)

Violet Helleborine

Tonight I called in at the Funtley Deviation site to look for Violet Helleborine (Epipactis purpurata).  I knew that these were a late flowering species and so wasn’t expecting to find any in flower.

This flower spike was in fine fettle and was right next to a well worn path down the embankment, so I was surprised to see that it was undamaged.

20140722_(untitled shoot)_3834
Violet Helleborine (Epipactis purpurata)
20140722_(untitled shoot)_3875
Violet Helleborine (Epipactis purpurata)

Here are a couple of close-ups of individual flowers.

20140722_(untitled shoot)_3838
Violet Helleborine (Epipactis purpurata)
20140722_(untitled shoot)_3840
Violet Helleborine (Epipactis purpurata)


Small Skipper & Agapanthus

I was out in the garden this morning when this small skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris) flew right past me and landed on the Chard in the veg patch.  I grabbed a few shots gradually edging closer before it finally took flight.

20140720_(untitled shoot)_3675
Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris)

I’ve recently got hold of an EzyBox Speedlite and had a bit of a play this morning using it to light this Agapanthus flower.

20140720_(untitled shoot)_3633
Agapanthus Flower


Broad Leaved and Green Flowered Helleborines

I’ve been waiting for the past couple of weeks for some Broad Leaved Helleborines (Epipactis helleborine) to open up in full flower.  This morning, I called in to see what they were looking like, and was pleased to see that they were in full flower.

20140709_(Rownhams & Winnall Moors)_3585
Broad Leaved Helleborine (Epipactis helleborine)
20140709_(Rownhams & Winnall Moors)_3588
Broad Leaved Helleborine (Epipactis helleborine)

Then tonight, I called into a location I’d been given the details of in Winchester to see Green Flowered Helleborines (Epipactis phyllanthes).  This was a first for me, and I have to confess that despite these spikes being up for several weeks that the flowers weren’t open.  I have read that the flowers are self-fertile and sometimes do not open at all, and I guess that is the case with these ones.

20140709_(Rownhams & Winnall Moors)_3606-2
Green Flowered Helleborine (Epipactis phyllanthes)
20140709_(Rownhams & Winnall Moors)_3614
Green Flowered Helleborine (Epipactis phyllanthes)


Marsh Fragrant Orchid & Marsh Helleborine

I made an early start this morning, and on the way to a job in reading called in to Mapledurwell Fen next to the M3 at Basingstoke.

According to the Natural England SSSI citation (, “Mapledurwell Fen is an extraordinarily rich site which is the last relict of a formerly  much more  extensive  area  of  similar vegetation  largely  lost  to  drainage  and  motorway  construction.  The  site  holds  one  of  the richest  known  associations  of  fen  species  in  central  southern  England.”

I called in at this site to photograph the Marsh Fragrant Orchid (Gymnadenia conopsea ssp. densiflora) and some pale flowered Marsh Helleborines (Epipactis  palustris var. ocroleuca).

20140707_(Mapledurwell Fen)_3538
Marsh Fragrant Orchid (Gymnadenia conopsea ssp. densiflora)

20140707_(Mapledurwell Fen)_3566

Marsh Helleborine (Epipactis palustris var. ocroleuca)

20140707_(Mapledurwell Fen)_3571
Marsh Helleborine (Epipactis palustris var. ocroleuca)
20140707_(Mapledurwell Fen)_3571-2
Marsh Helleborine (Epipactis palustris var. ocroleuca)

Sundew Flowers

I have to confess that I’ve got quite a collection of carnivorous plants and some of my fork leaved sundews are in flower at the moment.

Most of the flowers are white, but the flowers of Drosera binata var. multifida have a gorgeous pink blush to them.

20140705_(Dionaea )_3328-2
Drosera binata var. multifida flowers.

Pale Butterwort & Bog Orchid

Tonights flower is a lovely little Pale Butterwort (Pinguicula lusitanica) which is so much smaller than all of the cultivated butterworts I have at home.  It took a bit of searching to find it.

20140702_(Pale Butterwort)_3256-4
Pale Butterwort (Pinguicula lusitanica)

Some lovely bog orchids out here too.

20140701_(Tiptoe & Matley)_3224
Bog Orchid (Hammarbya paludosa)