Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Chlorantha or Light Phase - (Helleborine) Variant

Chlorantha (Helleborine) Variant (2016) -  (Click over to enlarge)


This is a little beauty and stands at about 16" high and is strikingly light coloured. It matches up with Chlorantha in 99% with all points being a light green and cream with no traces of red or purple. The inner hypochile (cup) is also light green.  Its difficult to see in this photograph. The 1% I am not too happy about is the small stalk that connects the ovary to the stem itself does show a slight light brown colour which you don't get with a pure "Chlorantha" which would be green in colour.

This photo shows the brown stalks circled in red which I mentioned earlier
 which would be green on a pure "Chlorantha" 2016
(Photo: Bryan Yorke)


The specimen lies deep within a small copse and is in close proximity to Specimen 15 and 16 Schmalhausenii plus other atrorubens.  Also within a metre you can find the first of several beautiful specimens of helleborine which stand well above a metre.  Some of these fall into the straight forward category of Broad Leaved Helleborine but within a small distance (2ft) lies a pair of beauties which qualify for the title of "Purpurea variant" and have that purple throughout.

I also have another couple of very light helleborine specimens on Hutton Roof Crags which meet the criteria in 75% of the case but can be discounted from the "Chlorantha" by having a dark coloured

Moving on into 2017 and the next photo is of the same plant but you will notice that the plant has regained some colour and looks like it may be reverting back to a "normal" helleborine or "reactivation of its genes".


Same plant as above in 2017 (Click over to enlarge)

This is a very nice plant (below) which I found yesterday on Hutton Roof (31st July 2017). It is very pale plant "borderlining Chlorantha".  It is really spaced out between the flowers. By the way of interest is that this plant lies in the middle of "Juniper" and is only about 10 yards NW of the "Chlorantha" shown at the top of the page.

Nice clean plant found on 31st July 2017 (Click over to enlarge)

That same plant showing close-up - found 31st July 2017 (Click over to enlarge)

Also on the same day I found this very small "light phase" helleborine (below) which is about 10" high and some 30 yards West of the plant shown above. It is within a couple of yards NW from Escarp 11 and 12 and also close to two more "normal" sized helleborines.

A lovely 10" light phase helleborine found on 31st July 2017 (Click over to enlarge)

The same plant close up (Click over to enlarge)
(24th August 2017)


Light phase in E. Helleborine this year has featured two specific plants which have been about 20 yards apart from one another. The tallest plant (White 1- Top Copse) was about 18" tall and was growing through a Juniper bush. The plant to me looked spectacular especially in that its flowers were well separated between the depth and gave the plant a rather special look. I have had this one caged which as saved it from predation. Above are photos of the plant in situ and also a close up of the flowers.
The second "Light phase" plant of our E. Helleborines this year was a smaller plant called (White 1- Escarp) and this was well protected on all sides by being in the gryke of limestone. This plant stood at about 10" and again showed very pale features. Both areas in question eg: Top Copse and also Escarp have had several light phase flowers over the recent years.
It has already been noted this year that a "chlorantha" from last year started to turn back this year with the same plant gaining more colour back to the original. I have also seen this regular with several plants over the recent years. So it is so nice to photograph and record these just whilst they are showing well as a "light phase" plant. It will be interesting to see how these two light phase turn out next year.