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Midland Diary Discussion: Midland Diary No 53

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Started by: Diane Clement

Go to latest contribution by Diane Clement, 18 August 2013, 11:05. Go to bottom of this page.

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Contribution from Diane Clement 13 August 2013, 22:55top / bottom of page

I've posted a bit more on our Swiss holiday, Diary Entry 53 describes a trip to the Schynige Platte Alpine Garden and an exciting walk through the scree at the base of the Eiger with some primula mysteries still to be solved

Midland Diary No 53

Contribution from Martin Rogerson 14 August 2013, 12:49top / bottom of page

Certainly some of them look like x pubescens to me. I vaguely remember being a bit confused by Primulas along the Eiger trail. I put it down at the time to my lack of field experience. Hope JR enlightens us!

Contribution from John Good 15 August 2013, 17:36top / bottom of page

What a lovely set of photos Diane, I particularly like those of Ranunculus glacialis which, as a set, virtually demolish the long-held view that pollination results in the flowers turning pink/red.The pink primulas definitely look like hybrids of P. auricula to me, and if P. hirsuta is the only red species in the area then they must surely be P. x pubescens. However, like Martin and you, I await JRs comments with interest. One or two of those shown match, for me, most of the better forms of P. x pubescens in cultivation.

Contribution from Diane Clement 16 August 2013, 08:03top / bottom of page

Thanks John, glad you enjoyed the pictures. I will wait pronouncement from the other John about the primulas.

I've just added a few more pictures and will now call it a day!

Contribution from John Richards 16 August 2013, 17:18top / bottom of page
Primula x pubescens and Dactylorhizas

Goodness, what a lot of pressure! Just as well I caught up with your diary today Diane! Like the others, I am delighted you have started again, and am envious of your feedback!

Yes, I am sure that all the supposed P. x pubescens you saw, white and pink, were that. The rather washy pink is typical of wild hybrids, but I loved the white; I never saw that colour in the wild. You don't say if you saw P. hirsuta there, but in my experience it often flowers before P. lutea, and can be difficult to see once it is through.

No, P. lutea is not a misprint! P. auricula has been separated into two species (they are rather distantly related and mostly look alike because of the yellow colour). The species south of the Alps is P. auricula and the correct name for the northern plant, which I suppose is the one around Wengen, is now P. lutea.

On to Dactylorhizas! They are not easy. Of the first pair, the left one is D. fuchsii as you say. The right one has a broader more entire lip in which the middle lobe is no longer than the broad side lobes and this is D. maculata maculata (the British Heath Spotted Orchid is D. maculata ericetorum).

All the others you show from then on are D. majalis I think. Orchis mascula has less dense spikes than this and a different spur.

Contribution from Diane Clement 18 August 2013, 10:49top / bottom of page

Thanks for your comments and contributions, John, much appreciated.

Orchids first - . At the time, I was happy with one identification of D majalis, but I wasn't convinced about the others, as they do vary a lot in the wild. So thanks very much for sorting them out.

So, on to the primulas. All the ones I guessed were P x pubescens were on the Eiger trail. I think we may have seen an odd example of P hirsuta there, although we saw more in Zermatt (higher altitude and northern aspect).  I presumed it must flower earlier than the hybrid. The yellow parent was there, the first picture I showed was the most obvious straight species, but I wasn't sure if some of the other yellows were also hybrids as the leaves lacked farina, although I suppose it washes off. The pale creamy white one was a very beautiful plant with much narrower petals than the others.

P auricula?? I have tried to find the reference for P lutea and where the two new species occur. I found a reference which says that P lutea is the species in the south and east Alps which I would not thought to include Switzerland north of the Rhone?

And then the question is, will the hybrid between P hirsuta and P lutea need a new name, or can we still call it P x pubescens?

Contribution from Diane Clement 18 August 2013, 11:05top / bottom of page

The first picture below was the only plant on the Eiger trail that was possibly straight P hirsuta.  The second picture, for comparison, I think is P x pubescens.

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