Broomrape, Butterfly Orchids and Barn Owls

Carrot Broomrape
Carrot Broomrape, a rare subspecies of the more widespread Common Broomrape parasitizing a Wild Carrot on the seacliffs at Durlston Country Park.

In common with other species of Broomrape the roots penetrates the host’s tissue and draws nutrients from it. With no need for chlorophyll the Broomrape lacks green pigment and the leaves have been reduced to withered brown scales.

Close-up of the flower of a Carrot Broomrape

Key features that help to separate Carrot Broomrape from the more widespread Common Broomrape include the pronounced yellowish bosses on the lower corolla lip and the purple stigma lobes that are partially united.

Yellow Brain Fungus
 Yellow Brain Fungus, again at Durlston on a dead branch in one of the woodlands.
Greater Butterfly Orchid
Greater Butterfly Orchid, Badbury Rings – Dorset.

Surprisingly common on the ditches to the northern side of one of our most spectacular Iron Age Hill Forts.

Barn Owl in quartering the meadows close to Corfe Castle.
Barn Owl quartering the meadows close to Corfe Castle.
Barn Owl in flight
Wonderful birds and always a pleasure to watch.
Barn Owl sitting on a fencepost close to Corfe Castle

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