Dark Red Helleborines and Fly Orchids

Not a promising start. A quick look around the limestone pavement at Gait Barrows revealed that the mice, voles and rabbits had nibbled off all but one of the flower spikes from the Dark Red Helleborines.  The one that remained was still to open up.

Hmmm…..time for a reccy around the limestone trail. After 20 minutes a group of seven Helleborines came into view.

Dark Red Helleborine
Dark Red Helleborine

Dark Red Helleborine
Dark Red Helleborine

Fly Orchid

Fly Orchid

A short trip across the fields to Trowbarrow Quarry. Amongst the Common Twayblades and Spotted Orchids the until now mythical Fly Orchid.

Fly Orchid 

Fly Orchid – Close up of the flower

Fly Orchid 

Fly Orchid – A slightly withered flower

Very weird. If it had looked more like a Horsefly I wouldn’t have found it. Definitely an odd looking flower. A bit ironic that a Fly Orchid living in a Horsefly infested woodland is actually pollinated by male Digger Wasps. Definitely worth a return visit early next summer.

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