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Plants in the Wild: Orchids of South Yorkshire

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Started by: Mel Linney

Go to latest contribution by ian mcdonald, 09 November 2015, 12:46. Go to bottom of this page.

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Contribution from Mel Linney 06 July 2010, 08:16top / bottom of page

Continuing our botanising experiences, Elaine and I went in search of Orchids in our area.We knew there was Dactylorhiza fuchsii at Sprotborough flash in the Don Gorge but was not sure what else we may find.The reserve is just ten miles from where we live so it was easy to make several visits throughout June to see how the Orchids faired.

There is some variation, most with spotted leaves but also the occasional plain leaved plant. However, the flowers were more diverse.

Once we got into the swing other Orchids began to appear.

Neottia ovata

Note the little green men. Is there life on Mars?

Anacamptis pyramidalis

White Form

However the highlight of our visits, the Holy Grail if you like, were the Bee Orchids.

Ophrys apifera. This was one of six plants and by far the freshest.

Contribution from Mel Linney 06 July 2010, 08:53top / bottom of page

The magnesian limestone in that part of Doncaster makes this reserve a rich habitat for a diverse range of flora and fauna, and the work carried out by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust makes it a place worth visiting.

On one of our last journeys to Sprotborough Flash we caught sight of this Orchid growing by the side of the road just three miles from home. Intrigued by our find we decided to investigate further, but that's the next instalment.

Contribution from Mel Linney 11 July 2010, 10:19top / bottom of page

As we passed this Orchid in the car, we thought it was the Common Spotted but on closer inspection we realised it wasn't like the ones at Sprotborough.Wondering how it got there and thinking it may be Dactylorhiza praetermissa, the Southern Marsh Orchid, we decided to visit an area close by where as kids we would search for newts, frogs and other animals,and lo and behold,what the R.S.P.B. now call Gypsy Marsh was awash with Orchids. Intrigued by our find we went to the nearby Old Moor Wetland Centre for more information.The Warden told us that four species of the genus Dactylorhiza had been identified and for good measure a number of hybrids.

After consulting a number of books including the excellent Orchids of Britain and Ireland by Anne and Simon Harrap we realised it was going to be a mammoth task beyond our current capabilities. Therefore, we have selected a few pictures in the hope that someone can help in their identification.

The following pictures cofirm the possibility of hybrids.

D fuchsii[Common Spotted] and D purpurella[Northern Marsh]?

Contribution from Mel Linney 12 July 2010, 08:08top / bottom of page

Here are a few more, any comments welcome.


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