Monday, 22 April 2013

Toothwort found

Along with most botanists and gardeners I've been waiting for spring to get started.  We in fact cheated by popping off to Kos in the Aegean for the Easter break and at least returned to the current improvement in the weather.  Before going off to Kos I put together ID keys to all the plants that grow there and managed to find and photograph in excess of 200 of them while we were away.  This included a superb sawfly-mimicking orchid illustrated below.

This evening I popped out to a spot on the southern edge of Worting Woods just north west of Basingstoke to try to find the toothwort this year having failed last spring.  I took my two year old grandson with me having shown him the illustration in my plant book.  We found three spikes under hazel bushes and the identification was confirmed by my companion.  The adjacent field is possibly zoned for housing development and I would be concerned that this sensitive species would survive.

Lathraea squamaria (toothwort), parasitic on hazel

Ophrys speculum on Kalimnos, East Aegean.  Rather atypical as the brown margin of the "abdomen" is tucked round behind the purple mirrored section

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