Friday, 25 May 2012

First Orchid

Very excited today to find the first orchid of the year which is probably the earliest one would expect to find.  The Early Purple Orchid (Orchis mascula) was flowering at the edge of woodland near Herriard taking over from the fading bluebells.  They were fairly close to a badger sett and several had been knocked over by their bumbling.  The smell of the flowers is described in my book as being like tom cats.  As most cats are spayed these days, this is a rarely experienced scent.  I could only describe it as a cross between mild urine and musk, which I suppose is the smell of tom cats.

Orchis mascula - the Early Purple Orchid

Alongside the pathway from the Viables Craft Centre to Loggon Road, Basingstoke were several flowering Sanguisorba minor subspecies muricata - the Fodder Burnett.  The female flowers were fully open at the tops of the heads but only a few male had opened around the base of the heads.

Photomicrograph of female flower of Sanguisorba minor muricata showing the twinned stigmas and styles looking like two red fountains

Total species 1202
Found and photographed 342 (28.5%)

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