Tuesday, 25 May 2021

Front page and Index


I took this photo in 2012 and typical of what you expect of a atrorubens photo: B.Yorke  (Click over to enlarge)

"Flowers of a purple colour (both petal and sepal), flowers to two sides of the stem only, a purple stem, leaves opposite one another and at a sharp upright angle etc etc.  But things don't always turn out like that! so please carry on and read these pages and then you may (or may not find) norm even MORE fascinating" One thing is for sure IT IS A EVER CHANGING STORY.......OF BOTH DEVELOPMENT AND INTRIGUE.

These pages have been started to share with you my research notes together with regular reports of what is happening with the beautiful plants the "EPIPACTIS ATRORUBENS" and E. Helleborine's which choose to have their home on at Hutton Roof Crags. I am currently collating all the information and including much more on a regular basis (more so during the Orchid season itself, so please keep coming back to check us out.   

It is such a pleasure to share with you photos and information and should you wish to contact me with questions or anything else please don't hesitate my email address is:  epipactisatrorubens@gmail.com


Please click over the indexed items below (shown in red) to go straight to what you want to read or just scroll down if that's what you prefer.

Hutton Roof Crags and it's Reserves - A Short history how it got it's status - together with how many orchids do we have  

Help with the Identification of our nationally rare "hybrid" between the Dark Red Helleborine and  the Broad Leaved Helleborine

The hybrid examples


Bicolor Lemon-Petalled Atroruben varieties (at least 2 varieties)


Lutescens/Albiflora (A pallid form of atrorubens) (complete)

Pallens and Lutescens (pallid forms of atrorubens) (complete)

Plants with White or Cream Epichile/Boss etc


The four natural predators of our orchids  (complete)

***Beware of Ticks (factsheets)

Lovely Plants - Straight Atrorubens

Interesting plants to get to the bottom of

Unanswered situations
Interesting unusual specimens
Specimens still not classified and the verdict is out!

Cages and Protection for Orchids

Early Purple Orchid - Gallery (Hutton Roof)

Fly Orchid - Gallery (Hutton Roof)

Common Spotted Orchid - Gallery (Hutton Roof)

Green Winged Orchid - Gallery (Silverdale)

Interesting Orchid Notes 

Diary Pages 2017

Diary Pages 2018

Diary Pages 2019 

Diary Pages 2020


My beloved Hutton Roof,
A special place for Epipactis and a place where
The straight forward has become the rarity
And the rarity has become the norm.

Rubens or Borines which do you want?
A Schmalhauseneii mix for you Sir!
Today can be the purple wash,
Tomorrow can be the green wash.

But we have some green ovary specials,
With a brownier flower to bear and stare,
Called No.9, 9a,9b,9c and so on and on and on
And away until they are gone!

We have some Lemon Petalled beauties,
Small, mediums and largest and blessed,
Green stems or purple stems we have the mix,
Stunning our pupil since 2014 that’s young

What about a Palens Ma’am,
In Lutescens mix or you can have a green cream flavour,
Both are staring “wimperley” but this is only part
Of a start of something far more special.

Here we have the very first on English soil I am told,
Called “Albiflora” and what a little gem it was
It lacks a lot of colour dear “Albi” green and  white,
I even looked through transparency at some of its sight!

Make a path to the bottom of this hill
Where flowers of purpurea live out their days,
It’s a sort of red wine colour they display some years,
Darker with canopy, lighter with sun.

To my North I can see a Helleborine change
Which is so pale and bright!
Often called a special or by name
Viridiflora’s sight.

(Poem I wrote July 2016)

Active Diary pages covering the 2021 Season from 24th May 2021 to )

Saturday 24th July 2021 - Hutton Roof

Decided to concentrate on the Helleborines today and they are progressing nicely, probably the bulk will be at their very best during the coming week.

I started off at a very special place, in fact the place which has been responsible for coming up with the "Dark Stemmed" of which I found yet another one today.

In fact every single plant looked interesting in various ways and photos have been taken and included below. The main interest came when I started looking at a lovely trio which had a special look in the petals against sepals, I noticed this last year on a couple of plants, it contrast with much beauty, a green against a pink/purple, so you will see I took many photos of the outside and the inside of the flower, and thats when it started to hot up! I just could not believe for one minute what I was witnessing, a brilliant arrangement of colour, but even that aside, certain flowers within the spike were showing very low basal callosity and then there was another which showed a little helleborine and possibly a little atrorubens mixed in.  I also found odd flower examples similar on the other two of the trio. Even the flower look on some of these were without doubt to me atroruben look, so again all this dark stuff!

I moved on only a few yards and there again were more of the special flowers on the Helleborine looking plant and the colours were stunning.  I am very familiar with the variety "purpurea" and although they would meet the criteria, I felt there was far more on offer here with the complexities of the actual flowers. I will need to study this area even more over the coming week.

Also I checked out some more notable plants we have eg the Epipactis westmorlandii and found 4 plants in bud, watered the beauties and then over the other side to water the Variagated.

Lots of photos to check through, but here are a few to be going on with. 

Friday 23rd July 2021 - Hutton Roof

It was nice to meet up with my friend Richard Bate and we checked out some lovely helleborines together with the special variagated specimen. But the star of the morning just had to go to our special "Westmorlandii" which this year I have 4 plants which will hopefully all make it to flowering. Then I have another one which has already been nibbled and also I found yet another new one down in the gryke. Plus I found odd seedlings as well which hopefully may come through in the next year or two. Here are photos from Westmorlandii specimen no.6

Westmorlandii No.6

This is obviously a descendant from the first Westmorlandii seen in 2014, it is the second flower up from the bottom. Although the photo may look a little like variagation, that is not so, its just how the camera has taken it. Here below are another couple of photos.

Westmorlandii No. 6

Westmorlandii No. 6

The man himself endulging himself into the fine Westmorlandii No.6

And here below are a couple of photos from the strongest looking "Westmorlandii" Specimen No.5 although it is very difficult to photo with its flowers hardly opening

(above) Specimen 5

(above) Specimen 5

Now below more photos from this morning. 

(below) Variagated No.1 on 22nd July 2021

Thursday 22nd July 2021 - Hutton Roof

Today I checked on other outside pavements linking to ours, but the helloborine numbers seemed well down and subsequently I dont need to spend much time on them. I also found an additional "Westmorlandii" bringing this years family so far to 4 plants.

I did a general look over of everything and "watered" the special and needy! and then moved across the fell to Variagated No.1 (or Stripey) which had even more petals out today. Here below are some of todays photos which alone have answered one or two more questions, after the photos I will go into my analysis of this plant.

Below: Variagated No.1

(above) the variagation within this plant is very strong with prominence showing especially in the leaves and bracts. But on closer inspection I also can see lines across both sepal and petal. Also on photo 3 and 4 you can also see striping on the outer hypochile. To a lesser degree this time the striping is seen but far less on the ovary itself. 

The morphological analysis of this plant on investigation over at least 6 years research has shown:

The plant by immediate looks and by the timing of its appearance would be documented as E. helleborine BUT, there are some oddities which I never expected on this plant.

Flower and works: The flowers are always loaded to two sides of the stem rather than what you would expect of all around the stem and spiralling. Also the inner hypochile is mid green in colour which you do not expect with helleborine which would normally be dark red.

The plant stem is quite hairy in places and by no means glabrous which again does indicate possible atrorubens.

And finally when I did some cilia work on the leaf edges I found that the profile were more to atroruben than to helleborine.

Although I do think we have mixed morphological within this plant and with the lack of any visual mixed basal callosity on its epichile, at this stage I dont want to come down as definate hybrid. Probably best to continue with the name  SPECIMEN Variagated 1

(below) Now here are a few more photos from today:

This plant is up near 40 and 40a and always shows purpurea. I guess it is under a minimal canopy

You dont normally see wasp pollinators on atrorubens it is usually bees, but here it is on 17d - Yet thinking about it 17d is probably a hybrid!

Wednesday 21st July 2021 - Hutton Roof

I had a quick look around the helleborines noting in particular the "dark stemmed" and then it was quickly over to check out our very special "Westmorlandii" of which are now coming into flower.

The full history of westmorlandii CLICK HERE

(above) Regular Harebell on Burton Fell.

(above) the darker Harebell of Burton Fell

then briefly stopping off at the very dark blue Harebells, its the only place I can find on here were this is happening, the majority elsewhere are just standard. So I wonder whether its the ground minerals which are causing this effect.

Finishing off with the Variagated 1 which now has some of its flowers showing OK. Like past years the flowers are pretty much giving a helleborine look although the inner hyperchile does show green which is strange!

And now below is a selection of other photos today which include some superb helleborines and the odd atrorubens.


(below)  Now then today 20th July 2021 I have decided to go back on my long term studies of specimen 17q and now I do feel confident in being able to diagnose it has a hybrid (Epipactis schmalhauseneii). Here are the early day photos from the 8th July and right up to the plant starting to turn on the 19th July. 

I have thought now for some five years or more that it was a special hybrid, but just wanted to be absolute (or as near to absolute as one can get.

Like I say it's history has always given this one a typical hybrid look, eg: straightaway you note the basal and secondary leaves are more likely to be seen on a helleborine rather than a atroruben flowered and timed plant like this one is, but sure enough you can see helleborine and also note the leaves are also spiralling around the stem which again is another helleborine feature.

7th July 2021
a special plant needs added protection

17q on 10th July 2021

the inflorescence seems to tell a story with most of the hybrids, with its compactness all around the stem, with flowers tightly packed together just like this. Its another typical helleborine feature. The ovary is hairy like you might expect with atroruben. A sort of frosty look on a very compact inflorescence.

This is 17q a few days on, and taken out of its cage for a photograph. All the ground work has already been carried out with this plant over the past years, but having ticked several boxes for the hybrid already, the next and final test is very much more difficult but now with the flowers out on the inflorescence I now have to try and establish if anything of the hybrid mix can be seen and confirmed within the flower itself. 

 I want to see as near to a helleborine callosity as possible (two humps at the top of the epichile), although I do also want to see at the same time, ever so slight atroruben callosity as well at the same area (in other words the slightest of a frill which you do get from atrorubens). So your trying to read the mix which if it had been a straight 50/50% then my job would be so straightforward, but there is only a slight chance there will be an equal ratio. But because we have already accounted for so much helleborine in the plant, there is every chance the flower could be a little more biased in favour to atrorubens. I also would prefer if the callosity are glossy rather than dry. These are all strong pointers to signs of hybrid.

If I can determine the mix within the flower, it really is the icing on the cake!

(above) so there you have it! the working out of whether it be a hybrid or not and on this occasion I am quite satisfied that this Specimen 17q meets all the requirements for me to feel safe stating that it is a hybrid or Epipactis schmalhauseneii. 

"The inflorescence of one of our Dark Stemmed Helleborines"

19th July 2021 (0930hrs to 1300hrs) - Hutton Roof

For me its all over now with the atrorubens, although I may still find the odd one tucked away under the shelter of a hazel tree, who knows, but preparations are ongoing in readiness for the research of the "whopping" helleborine beauties we have this year especially, the newly found stuff on the limestone pavements below my regular study area.

What I wanted to mention was how quick things are changing right under our nose! I thought evolutionary process took hundreds of thousands of years, I hadnt banked on changes within twelve months to ten years. Let me try and give a summary to the massive changes I have seen over the past ten years.

First of all we had the atrorubens - bicolors, the red sepal and yellow petal, when I first started recording here I had two specimens on the full pavement, and these numbers have grown year on year and now I can record scores of them if not a hundred or more. (Over 8 years).

Then we have had "light green stemmed" flowers appearing with a swarming taking place by at Population 30 and again and even more prolific at Population 9. I originally found 1 specimen back in 2012, and this one specimen brought so much excitement! and yet now I can find scores, with probably up to at least 50 specimens (Over 8 years).

Then we started getting "dark stemmed" helleborines, with odd ones turning up within population 70 and up to 10 more recently discovered down near population 100. Several more have turned up since last year, as though they are also going to be a annual increase as well!

I started to notice last year 2020 that some of our atrorubens were coming through a beautiful sort of light cherry red which I cant say I'd seen before, and this was only a few (less than 20), but this year we have had hundreds turning this beautiful colour (not complaining) but what can be happening! Also I have noticed that we are getting far more deep purple flowers (sort of hyperchromic) more resemblant perhaps to what you would get on Magnesium rather than Carboniferous and maybe typical to the specimens which are commonplace at Bishop Middleham. 

If you do have any constructive comments to make on this will you kindly leave them on the facebook site which can be reached by clicking over "Epipactis atrorubens & More" apply to be a member and I will OK it immediately.  thank you. 

Back to today: I closed my research on Specimen 17q and it does seem to match lots of the requirements you would expect for a hybrid.

I spent most of the morning checking through the large helleborines on the next pavement down, and some are real beauties. Even more of the lovely brown stemmed, I will put some examples of photos soon showing hairiness and deep red colour patches etc, it gets more and more interesting. Its nothing to do with ground minerals, you will get a dark stemmed one growing sided by side of a more regular type.

These photos are from a selection of specimens:

 17th July 2021 (1300hrs to 1630hrs) - Hutton Roof

I wanted to spend more time evaluating specimen 17q by taking more photographs etc and check the specimens immediately in the vicinity. Lots of photos can be seen below. Also I checked out 15d (or PMG) which has come more into flower today, then off to check out more specials before eventually arriving over at the Specimen variagated No.1. I later wanted to check out the ovaries especially on the 15s family. They are swelling niceley.  Whilst there I found a beauty tucked away and half hidden by the Juniper but was about 3 metre to the N of 15d, this specimen is now called 15g.

Here below are some of the photos from today:

This (above) is 17q and quite squat with very rounded basal, and secondary leaves as well, the bunched flowers seem very interesting, see these photos below:

(above) What I am looking for in particular is a straight glossy boss with no or just a little on the frill but more of a raised mound similar to what you would see from a helleborine and shiny over the boss areas.  I think and I hope I am seeing the in-between with regards to the boss and frills from this specimen which seems to me to incorporate both parents. Although I am getting pointers towards a possible hybrid especially from it's fine ovate leaves and also the inflorescence arrangement and squat, but if I can determine midway features with the boss on epichile then that would be the icing on the cake for me. I am nearly there as they say.

The above photos relate to specimen 15g which lies about 2-3 metre to N. of the 15a,b,c,d families. Very similar on basal and secondary leaves, but rather different in flower profiles.

Above five photos are 15d (or PMG)

16th July 2021 (0900hrs to 1130hrs) - Hutton Roof 

It was a flying visit to the roof this morning, needed to be over on the Stints for 1130hrs - Butterfly meeting (High Browns), so wanted to check out the fantastic aptly named Specimen 100 to make sure it was the one I found last year and sure enough I compared the photos below and thats the one....

Just like the old days finding this Hi-vigour Specimen, you dont find these so often in fact your lucky if you find one over a five year period, so you can see why it is of so much importance to me. All photos taken on Iphone 8 or 11.

(above) This is what I found back on 29th July 2020, a very hi-vigour light green stem which had already had the inflorescence removed, quite thick in build with large leaves what would be more suitable to a plant of E. Helleborine, rather than bearing perhaps E. atroruben flowers. I could only estimate what had been on the end of that spike, and yes it is so pleasing to actually see what has come through this year (see photo below). It is probably the prize this year

And so that mystery is solved in a very very positive fashion. Thanks David for your help AGAIN!

Here (below) in these two photos you see a close up of the plant (Specimen 100).

Whilst close Specimen 100 in fact within a metre or two I also found these which were hiding under some bracken, but lovely specimens, I wonder if they were related to 100 I doubt it, but yet again with basal and secondary leaves like that the thought does run through your mind!

I thought the ferns and vicious lighting this morning and these being under canopy created that exotic backdrop.

This below is from the 17s family, the area itself leads to lots of suspicious plants mainly because of their leaves which on the majority of plants look similar to what you see on Broadleaved rather than atrorubens, you can see this in the bottom photo. Another trait of this particular area is the large amount of very deep magenta coloured plants we have in this area, although after saying that we still do have some fantastic bi-colours. It's an area I have always considered lots going on.

Now then this next specimen is yet again from the 17s population and lies just beneath a large hazel bush and offers canopy and part shelter. It always comes up with this delightful colour.

Also next door and within less than one metre we have this one which again has lovely smiling faces beaming down at you.

Now then one plant I always look forward to seeing is Specimen 17d or PMG (named after the finder Pauline Mellor Greenhalgh). It's a very unusual specimen and has proved difficult to match any secondary plants to it. It is a bicolor but more than that it's striking feature is just the white/creamy epichile and bosses. Originally this plant was a trio and over the years has come down to a single plant. Today it was honoured by a special pollinator who visited just whilst taking the photo which of course made things even more special. 

Hover fly is Eupeodies nitens

And on the pavement below the Helleborines are starting to open up and its looks like this year might just be that little bit special. Here below is just a couple of photos to wet the appetite

Not sure were this specimen was but definately worth including and just take a special look at them leaves!

(below) I want to finish of with yet another special I check daily but I have been struggling this last day or two to get good light. It again is another very special specimen which comes from the 17s population and one I have called over the years 17q and currently resides in a cage protection. Although the plant is squat it really does show unusual features. First of all the leaves dont look atroruben they look more like helleborine but then again remember we are deep within the 17s territory. Its possible here the leaves spiral up the stem. And although I am not a strong believer in hybrids showing ONLY in the flower, with this particular plant I can almost see bosses in part similar to helleborine with a atroruben mix, having said that, IT REALLY IS FOR ME ONLY ONE PART OF A HYBRID PLANT take the flower out of the equasion and we still have lots of fabulous other factors to count. I think this will do for now- please enjoy.

15th July 2021 (0930 to 1200hrs) Hutton Roof

Yesterday whilst up on the fell I had the pleasure in meeting up with friend David Nattress who kindly put me on to a absolute stonker! from his explanation I remembered it from last year although all I got chance to see last year was a beautiful specimen with very hi-vigour stem (without inflorescence, which had already been raided) and extroadinary leaves, but I guessed just how it might well have look and sure enough it turned up trumps today. Thanks to Dave telling me of this he had only found that very specimen yesterday and from how he described it I guessed he had found the special one. - just look at this special Specimen named 100 coming off the more westerley fragmented pavements.

Specimen 100 on 15th July 2021

This is how I remember it last year 2020. The plant looks identical although the angle maybe different. I feel reasonably confident this could well be the same one.

Specimen 100

Specimen 100

Specimen 100

Specimen 100

I do somewhere have photos from last year, which I hope I can find later just to determine the profile pattern of the spiralling leaves and compare the broad nature of the leaves.
This specimen has 60 flowerheads.

Variagated No. 2

Dark and beautiful

Please note the "Dark stemmed" on the right hand is also much darker in the Broad Leaves
than its regular which can be seen to its left.

Burton South West pavements looking North West.

Dark 1

Dark 11 and 12

My first helleborine flower today

Dark 9

Just look again at these beautiful dark stemmed specimens, I have counted up to 12 so far and they are certainly proving very interesting. Here is Dark 11 and 12

Dark 4 and 5



17d OR PMG

17 area - All seem to have the same shaped leaves which some are extroadinarily broad and that red colour turns up again

ABOVE:  Specimen 17Q inflorescence

I feel like I can see both helleborine and atrorubens in the flower itself. Especially at the flower directly centre and some of the others as well. You note the smooth clear double boss which is the input from helleborine yet on some others it does have the frilly boss which obviously is the input from atrorubens. I will try and get some clearer photos over the coming days. 

fantastic and true colour 17a

Pallens 9s Insipid

Pallens 9s Insipid

Pallens 9s Insipid

Looking North West

Looking West

follow on from Hybrid 8 which last flowered a few years ago from then asingle to now a duo

15a and 15d schmal

14th July 2021 (0930 to 1300hrs) - Hutton Roof

Today was a quieter day helping friend Alan G to find certain specimens which he could use within a video, we checked over some of the old specimens together with some new ones found yesterday.

I checked out the 55s and obviously it is becoming clearer that the atrorubens are now past their best and on the way out, yet there are still odd ones that are OK and probably I will carry on finding them until maybe weekend.

From then on I guess I will be devoting most of my time to the fabulous helleborines which are currently lying in wait to flower.

It was great to get photos of the very "insipid" Pallens 11 which you can see below.

Also today I have posted a photo of 9 (f2) shown against what I consider could be the parents in the hybrid photo.

Dark Green Fritillary butterfly

Heavy laden with Juniper fruit

A lovely atrorubens showing that special red which seems to be coming through this year with lots of specimens photographed showing this NEW shade of red.

Looking South across the pavement

This is the famous Pallens which is called RICH M, the name of the finder

(above) The great Cumbrian Orchid man himself
Alan G. 

Looking out to the West with Warton Crag and Morecambe Bay in the distance

This is Escarp 8 or Pallens 3 and obviously going over quickly, but I wanted to show this in particular to the swelling of the ovaries which does not take long.

I do have some interesting stuff about these Pallens eg: this one and also Pallens 4 and 4a and 5 and 5a and that is they have produced offspring within one metre of the main plant.  I find that very interesting especially with them all being Pallens and come through similar but certainly not a replica of the main plant.  It does make me think why would the offspring come through Pallens without reverting back to normal regular atrorubens. For me it probably proves the fact that Pallens is here to stay it is not a one off, it means to go on and on and develop in its own right.

Now then this for me has gone up in the World this year and this is how it looked today, although I did have my suspicions about this plant a few years ago.  It's our beautiful "variagated" and mentioned in Jon Dunns book "Orchid Summer" with the name of  STRIPEY. Its looks like a Broad Leaved Helleborine, but I am not sure about that! Next are a couple of photos back from about 2017 when it shows it in flower last. 

This is a photo from about 4 years ago and gives you a indication of the look in the petals and sepals of atrorubens, together with loading flowers to two sides of the stem.

This is a photo from about 4 years ago but clearly shows the inner hyperchile with a green, which is more regular to a atrorubens than a helleborine!

And finally I did some checking of the denticulation of one of the leaves and guess what?  It shows a good line of atroruben profile.

I am now quite happy that this plant should be described best as a hybrid. 


(below) now back to todays photos

Make sure you look at the orchid and not the face wearing his bakers hat!

One of the many 17s suspected hybrids (schmalhauseneii)
you note in 17s that the leaves look very helleborine

This is specimen 11 which I have history since 2014, we feel confident in calling it a hybrid (schmalhauseneii) it is one of a linked pair which has been browsed off. It's looking the best it has shown for the past 5 years. 

This is Pallens No. 11 nicknamed "INSIPID" it comes up every year and is beautiful, you can also see a weakened version of bicolor

This is Pallens No. 11 nicknamed "INSIPID" it comes up every year and is beautiful, you can also see a weakened version of bicolor
This is Pallens No. 11 nicknamed "INSIPID" it comes up every year and is beautiful, you can also see a weakened version of bicolor

A new plant found yesterday and lies just East above Population 17
just a very nice atrorubens

And now below I want to finish off with some of the light green stemmed "swarming" we have in the 9s area which are introgression (F2).

Its interesting that back in 2012 I had two pair of hybrids almost 2 metre apart, one pair were called 11 and 11a and the other two were called 9 and 10. Now then 9 and ten were very full on hi-vigour plants and had a unique colouring like nothing else ever seen on Hutton Roof, but the hybrids died back a couple of years later (2014) now last year I had a miniature version of that same plant (hybrid) which has come through again this year, so obviously this confirms for me we have gone into introgression with these plants.  I will post you now a photo of that 9 and 10, and then I will post you beneath it the new 9 (rep: introgression) 

9 and 10 back in 2014 and gone down by 2015 by hare grazing and never came through since 2016 but almost to the same spot I have had weakened versions which I think could well be introgression (F2) and here are the photos

(above) is the plant which has come through for the past two year in almost the same spot at were 9 used to come through.

This plant which is probably best to be called No.9 (F2) for now shows lots of similar characteristics especially in the colour which like I say is not found elsewhere on this pavement. But it is of a far weaker build and like most previous suspected F2 I have found nearly always come through frail and deformed just like this one appears to be. In my mind I have no doubts that you are seeing the hybrid (schmalhauseneii) in the previous photo and you are seeing the introgression (f2) within the photo above.

Now then I do promise not to get sidetracked again and will offer the following LIGHT green stemmed plants I have had amongst the 30 today which are without doubt swarming in a area of only 30ft diameter which could also be prime candidates again for introgression (f2,3,4,5, and on). Most of these are now into their 2nd or 3rd year and getting stronger.

13th July 2021 (1000hrs to 1600hrs)

Click over photo to enlarge

Today it was the turn of "The Flora of Cumbria Group", a large party came to check over the Epipactis and later in the day we checked out the Hypericum montanum.

It was very good and the party found one or two new light specimens of atrorubens which I will try and valuate over the next few days whilst visiting the pavements again.

Also it gave me chance to go over into Lancelot and we checked on Schmal 1 (hybrid) which has come through fine and dandy (see photo below).

The party really enjoyed seeing the "new" dark stemmed helleborines we are finding on both Burton and Lancelot.

Here are just one or two photos from todays great outing with some great friends old and new. 

Photo: 13th July 2021.
Schmalhauseneii 1 has been with us since at least 2012 and retains more or less the similar profile all these years
Look at this photo below from 2012

This was from 2012

This is from 2013

Gosh!  seeing these beauties on yet another pavement was so interesting, not only are the stems dark but the leaves are also turning darker as well. I know this area very well and some of the plants have history of "purpurea" but these three are just so special......

12th July 2021 (1300hrs to 1600hrs

On off drizzle throughout but no problem, checked out some new beauties in 55s population, then over to 40s, collecting cages to put around the special variagated. Then straight over to 9s photo some Pallens or light green stems etc. Here are a selection of photos taken on Iphones 8 and 11. 

10th July 2021 - Hutton Roof (1000hrs to 1500hrs

Today I was very busy showing members of the Hardy Orchid Society the many Epipactis atrorubens and helleborines. Special interest was shown to the Schmalhauseneii (hybrids) and the many atrorubens varieties including Bicolors, Pallens, and even a very unusual helleborine nicknamed "Stripey".

Also nice again to meet up with Terry Swainbank who had come up on his own and we held some really good discussion about the many "light green" plants we are getting in certain parts of Hutton Roof which are obviously "swarming". It was suggested that these were the follow on from past hybrids and would come under the banner of "introgression rather than hybrid".

Our party also enjoyed checking out the new 100 plus helleborine find on the next pavement down. 

This particular variagated which is nicknamed as "stripey" was well liked. 

and this is how it turned out back in 2016


9th July 2021 - Hutton Roof (3pm to 8pm)

Nice meeting up with orchid friends Dave and his sister from Kent and always nice to meet up with my dear friend Dr. Hawkeye who actually lives quite local nowadays.....

I roughly went over the 55 areas and then over to the 9s etc.

Getting very difficult now for photos, aching heavy with all the contortions etc etc over the past few days to get these photos. Anyway did manage a few photos here: (all photos on Iphone 8 or 11) I wont be doing photos today (10th July), having a day off from photos because it's the Hardy Orchid Society party and I will be kept busy with that. I will try and tag some of these when I get back. 

"Batey" matey....

8th July 2021 - Hutton Roof

Was up there between around 0900hrs and 1400hrs, in and out of brightness and little wind.

I covered the NW side today again and it was fabulous with lots of new atrorubens all over the place, probably the best year I can remember in the past 12 years.  Also some are achieving good size.

The majority of the best orchids are at their best right now and will be for the next few days, yet there are still lots waiting to come yet.

To be honest there was so much good stuff everywhere you looked and so I took lots of photos, in fact it was like I can imagine when a child enters a toffee shop!

So I started off today checking our 33 a bicolor with a light epichile and boss, then went over to 55 and again checked out the special bicolor on green stem, and also found more in the 55s and certainly worth a photo or two, then over and checked the 40s duo, first time flowered now for the past 5 years, surprising what a good cage can do. Then checked out the 15d hybrid and the new one next to it, then on to the hybrids 15a and 15b, doing nicely - again cage holding well, then over to the Escarpment and checked on the best bicolor Esc 13, then checked the pallens and all petals opened now. Also took many more around the escarp areas: All photos took on Iphones 8 or 11.


7th July 2021 - Hutton Roof

Went up this morning checking one or two things and moving about cages etc. All looks really good more and more nice atrorubens are coming into flower.

I spent time at 33 which is a dull coloured bicolor but always with amazing epichile and bosses, and got some nice shots also of 66 bicolor. Also went over to Escarp 8 (pallens).  Overhall the Pallens are having a terrible year with only 3 (eg: Escarp 8, Rich M and 9) showing up at the moment out of 10, but its still early days.

Here below are some of todays rewards. All photos today by Iphone 11.

The above is Specimen 66 bicolor var

The above is Specimen 66 bicolor var

The above is Specimen 66 bicolor var

The above is Specimen 66 bicolor var

The above is Specimen 66 bicolor var

Specimen 33 var: bicolor
always a beauty, always special with light coloured epichile and boss. Long established. 

Specimen 33 var: bicolor
always a beauty, always special with light coloured epichile and boss. Long established. 

Specimen 33 var: bicolor
always a beauty, always special with light coloured epichile and boss. Long established. 

Now below are more of what I had today, please enjoy.

This one above (specimen 17p) has always given me plenty of reason
 to want to call him a "schmalhauseneii" eg: just the general look
of it. Green stem, large basal and secondary leaves going around the
 stem in spiral and a practiced look of the inflorescence
 all lead me down this path. And I have been saying the 
same thing now for over 6 years. 

This shows 66 bicolor in cage and area of 55 specimens of which there are
some real beauties to see the full range - check the Gallery

This one is 55n and always comes up on the hedge of the Juniper bush,
he has a beautiful inflorescence, see next photos
This one is 55n and always comes up on the hedge of the Juniper bush

This one is 55n and always comes up on the hedge of the Juniper bush,

Another showing bicolor 66 and the area of 55

Escarp 8 (Pallens 3)

A friendly Grasshopper

Escarp 8 (Pallens 3)

Escarp 8 (Pallens 3)

Escarp 8 (Pallens 3)

Suspected hybrid17p is caged

6th July 2021 - Hutton Roof

Today was good after the rains, a little bright and gusty winds at time and difficult to photograph, but still managed a few.

I did concentrate quite a bit on another special bi-colour which we have which comes from the 17s family. Usually by now it has had its inflorescence removed, but so far so good. Also managed to cage a pair of light coloured green stemmed in the 17s area.  Checked out more on the non regular spots and there are some very tall specimens coming through this year. All photos today by Iphone 8 and Iphone 11

Special Bicolor in the 17s population

Special Bicolor in the 17s population

Special Bicolor in the 17s population

Special Bicolor in the 17s population

Special Bicolor in the 17s population

Special Bicolor in the 17s population

This one is rather Special and comes from the 17s population. I have watched it for years and always thought it is a possible for a E. schmalhauseneii (hybrid).  This is a smallish only 14" high but has several characteristics pointing it in that direction. 

5th July 2021 - Hutton Roof

Today had a sickener on my visit when I found the newly discovered specimen 42 beautiful light coloured had been taken down by deer, I had spent time making a special cage for it as well!  never mind there is always next year, but I will make sure it gets caged earlier.....

This is a beauty Specimen 42 and shows lots of light characteristics see flower below

This was the beauty Specimen 42 and shows lots of light characteristics

Other than that everything seems to be going good up on the fell and probably the atrorubens are as good as it gets and hopefully will remain so for a day or so longer.

Some of the photos from todays check out:

Always a beauty (30s family) and always kinked but a lovely atrorubens. 

This is the beautiful 15d which is a hybrid (schmalhauseneii) and the last time it flowered 3 years ago the inflorescence had 62 flowers, this time we have 30 plus.

This is the beautiful 15d which is a hybrid (schmalhauseneii) and the last time it flowered 3 years ago the inflorescence had 62 flowers, this time we have 30 plus.

This is the beautiful 15d which is a hybrid (schmalhauseneii) and the last time it flowered 3 years ago the inflorescence had 62 flowers, this time we have 30 plus.

This is the beautiful 15d which is a hybrid (schmalhauseneii) and the last time it flowered 3 years ago the inflorescence had 62 flowers, this time we have 30 plus.

This one is escarp 13 and is one of my favourite bi-color variety. It always comes through and a fine specimen heading in some years to almost one metre.  Here below are one or two more photos from today.

This one is escarp 13 and is one of my favourite bi-color variety. It always comes through and a fine specimen heading in some years to almost one metre.  Here below are one or two more photos from today.

This one is escarp 13 and is one of my favourite bi-color variety. It always comes through and a fine specimen heading in some years to almost one metre.  Here below are one or two more photos from today.

The above 3 photos are Pallens 3 or Escarp specimen 8 which has been with us since 2018 and its also last year had a offspring, which has shown itself this year, but not sure whether or not it will make it.  Note with this specimen it always shows the little red dots or smudges showing us that it does still belong to the atroruben family!

Shows a shot looking over towards Warton Crag in the far distance

Now below we have more photos from today which looked interesting:

Now the following specimens (below) were all around the 9s and 11s population within an area of some 20ft diameter. Why are we getting so many (growing in number every year) of these light green stems, in fact its getting that bad you are struggling to find a purple stem atrorubens in this area. Its definately a situation which you would call "swarming".

That will do for today, hopefully tomorrow wont be just as bright and less wind, then I can get some good photos.

Love some feedback on all these green stemmed swarmers!

3rd July 2021 - Hutton Roof

Went up for the afternoon after the heavy rains in the morning, it was fabulous and a totally fresher area, but overwhelmed with the amount of plants which had come into flower within the last 24 hours. Had to take lots of photos, most of them are different plants, but all had brilliant happy faces again.

Here goes, I may add some tags tomorrow if I get chance.- please enjoy. 

Specimen 30, it always appears to have a bent inflorescence.

Specimen 33 - bicolor and always comes through with a white epichile and bosses
Established over 10 years

Specimen 33 - bicolor and always comes through with a white epichile and bosses
Established over 10 years

Specimen 33 - bicolor and always comes through with a white epichile and bosses
Established over 10 years

55 family

Compensated head, with both buds and bracts - usually caused through plant having been nibbled off and just occasionally you may get a compressed compensation growth of bracts and buds,
although they never amount to much. 

Certainly reminds me of the 55 area

Certainly reminds me of the 55 area

Our very special Pallens named Escarp 8

Our very special Pallens named Escarp 8

Our very special Pallens named Escarp 8

Our very special Pallens named Escarp 8

Our very special Pallens named Escarp 8

Our very special Pallens named Escarp 8

Our very special Pallens named Escarp 8

Escarp 17 and 18 areas all now bicolors

Escarp 13 - bicolor - long established and thought may even be a hybrid

Escarp 13 - bicolor - long established and thought may even be a hybrid

Escarp 13 - bicolor - long established and thought may even be a hybrid

Escarp 13 - bicolor - long established and thought may even be a hybrid

Escarp 13 - bicolor - long established and thought may even be a hybrid

Specimen 15d from the family 15 and is a hybrid (last inflorescence show 3 years ago with 62 flowers)

Specimen 15d from the family 15 and is a hybrid (last inflorescence show 3 years ago with 62 flowers)

This is a beauty Specimen 42 and shows lots of light characteristics see flower below

This is a beauty Specimen 42 and shows lots of light characteristics

Hybrid 15d

2nd July 2021 - Hutton Roof

Lovely meeting up with orchid friends from down South and we checked out some of todays beauties, lots more have come out now and the place is getting back to looking more like itself.  I only had a brief spell before having to dash off but managed to see lots of little green beauties in the 9 and 11 areas. 

Looking down on specimen 72

above: Specimen 72
note bottom left flowers
Hutton Roof - 2nd July 2021.

above: Specimen 72
Note flower with 3 flowers merged into one
2nd July 2021 - Hutton Roof

above: Specimen 72
Showing flowers from same giant sized ovary and extra large peduncle

I checked around the 9 family and as usual there are lots of very light green specimens taking over, here is a small selection below:

From the 9 population
3rd July 2021 - Hutton Roof

From the 9 population
3rd July 2021 - Hutton Roof

From the 9 population
3rd July 2021 - Hutton Roof

From the 9 population
3rd July 2021 - Hutton Roof

Also another little beauty for today

1st July 2021 - Hutton Roof

Today was better with far more plants in flower. I think by Monday or Tuesday things will be a lot different. I have lots of photos from today which are shown below.  Also please check the E. helleborine photos as well. 

Here are the photos, little time at present so sorry I cannot tag all the photos, but I will try and tag some of them later or maybe tomorrow.

Dark Red Helleborine (Epipactis atrorubens)
Photo: Hutton Roof - 1st July 2021

Dark Red Helleborine (Epipactis atrorubens)
Photo: Hutton Roof - 1st July 2021

Dark Red Helleborine (Epipactis atrorubens)
Photo: Hutton Roof - 1st July 2021

Dark Red Helleborine (Epipactis atrorubens)
Photo: Hutton Roof - 1st July 2021

Dark Red Helleborine (Epipactis atrorubens)
Photo: Hutton Roof - 1st July 2021

Dark Red Helleborine (Epipactis atrorubens)
Photo: Hutton Roof - 1st July 2021

Dark Red Helleborine (Epipactis atrorubens)
Photo: Hutton Roof - 1st July 2021

Dark Red Helleborine (Epipactis atrorubens)
Photo: Hutton Roof - 1st July 2021

Dark Red Helleborine (Epipactis atrorubens)
Photo: Hutton Roof - 1st July 2021

Dark Red Helleborine (Epipactis atrorubens)
Photo: Hutton Roof - 1st July 2021

Dark Red Helleborine (Epipactis atrorubens)
Photo: Hutton Roof - 1st July 2021

Dark Red Helleborine (Epipactis atrorubens)
Photo: Hutton Roof - 1st July 2021

Dark Red Helleborine (Epipactis atrorubens)
Photo: Hutton Roof - 1st July 2021

Dark Red Helleborine (Epipactis atrorubens)
Photo: Hutton Roof - 1st July 2021

Dark Red Helleborine (Epipactis atrorubens)
Photo: Hutton Roof - 1st July 2021

Dark Red Helleborine (Epipactis atrorubens)
Photo: Hutton Roof - 1st July 2021

and its not all about atrorubens, with such fabulous specimens of E. Helleborine are bold and really great specimens.

(below) are some fabulous photos of something really special in my opinion and it would be very silly for me to call THE plants Epipactis helleborine.......

Very hairy in the uppermost sections from were the inflorescence joins the stem

Very hairy in the uppermost sections from were the inflorescence joins the stem

Very hairy in the uppermost sections from were the inflorescence joins the stem

Very hairy in the uppermost sections from were the inflorescence joins the stem

Very hairy in the uppermost sections from were the inflorescence joins the stem

And here below are some more dark stemmed examples seen today.

30th June 2021 - Hutton Roof

Had a good check today and we are struggling at the moment, perhaps half a dozen with flowers, none with full inflorescence, but did manage to collect the odd photo for this diary.

We are in a sad state at the moment because everything up there is parched, you see it, you tred it and some of the little beauties are holding their heads lower than usual! I felt some of the buds which in some specimens have tightened through obvious dehydration.  I really do hope its not going to be another year like 2019 when we lost so many! so its chin up and pray for rain.  

After saying all that the E. helleborines could not look better if they tried, but thats the secret I guess they are all geared up for a couple of weeks later than the atrorubens.

Our mega rare Epipactis "Westmorlandii" is not on show just yet, in fact not sure he will be with us this year, although I will keep checking on a every other day practice. He would normally try and make an appearance around the first week of July and it would never surprise me if he was not in the line up when the time comes. (For anyone who wonders who is Westmorlandii - then click this link to see the dedicated pages afforded to this very strange plant: 

So just to give you an idea of how things are at present there is some cheer when you look at these beauties, all smiling today:

The above photos are of 33c which is a regular "var bicolor". It lies approx 2ft away from the main plant no.33 I can always tell this one purely from its epichile features which comes through on a couple of the plants which are all close to one another eg: a creamy epichile with a touch of lovely apple green towards the midrib, but where it differs from its probable parentage (33) this one has red ruffled bosses, you would note on 33 it will turn out to have both white epichile and white bosses.

The above and uncaged (briefly) is hybrid schmalhauseneii No. 15d which thankfully this year has come through thanks to caging, although I did note 15c (its parentage) has gone down and not sure how it certainly was not deer or hare, I do suspect vole or mouse on that one! but getting back to 15d (the photos above) its doing well but only about 30 plus flowers this year, and nothing like the 62 it produced back in 2018.

The above plant is not a regular or maybe gone unnoticed but it is quite obviously from the 70s family and lives approx 2ft away from the parent 70 which I have always considered to be a hybrid, and maybe this could be to! I also love the added features of multi-stained stems! This very beautiful deep colouring (in the flower) is typical of all plants found in this sector. I like to think that I can tell most of my plants from their smiling faces, but it's not quite so simple as that, most of them do have their special features or fingerprint, the immediate giveaway with this plant is purely through its colour and colours which that alone nails it down to two areas, then your ready for some other box to tick....

above is 40 and 40a bi-colours which look forlorn at the moment. This is one of the plants I used for the information on the bi-colour, a very special specimen, which sadly is prone to go into a die-back state in such weather.  Our atrorubens seem to accept a lot and perhaps go into a sort of dorment stage during shortages of water, but they can only take on so much before the inevitable. I will be given these a little drink very soon!.

(above) are photos showing 40b a small plant and been present to my knowledge since 2014, It's normally the very first plant to flower in any year, but not this year!  It lies within 2ft of 40 and 40a although I cannot find any family link as yet, but always puts on such a splendid spectacle, yes one of my favourites and note the bicolor and special "light" epichile and bosses. 

Now then I am getting short of time so for now I will just continue with photos alone, please enjoy.

28th June 2021 - Hutton Roof

Taking a small a party from Arnside Nat, a tour of my study area explaining the varieties hybrids and other info, struggled to find any flowering specimens, but just the odd one or two. However the E.helleborines are doing super douper!

26th June 2021 - Hutton Roof

I have been up again today and everything is so far behind I really am struggling to see us getting good numbers of flowering atrorubens before about Wednesday of next week. The problem has been a shortage of water along the way and you can see were all are recovering and doing well now. Anyway after saying that here are one or two from today:

Well deformed and been out a few days now, the deformity is very common when the plant has been subjected to a shortage of water or another. 

About the progress of typical atrorubens today.  About two days away from flowering

typical deer predation on the better specimens, they know which to go for!

One of these is a pallens called Rich M

This beauty was 55t last year (July 2020)
what a shame it has this year seccumb to roebuck in the last day or two with inflorescence completely removed
"One of our beauties"

From the 33 family a good pallid type

13 Escarp A very strong bicolor and probable hybrid.

Escarp 8 a Pallens beauty

A good straight atrorubens with bottom in flower

Hybrid Schmalhauseneii 15a,15b,15c

Escarp 13 Bicolor and hybrid

Variagated helleborine 1

Hybrid 15D

11 Hybrid

Even open cages can save predation, look all others have been predated, the saved special is doing OK within the cage.

This is hybrid 8 and 8a coming through after numerous years problems, but even here they look like they maybe a little stunted through a water problem, but think they will be OK

Hybrid missing last year but back with vengeance No.9 Family

Two beautiful light green pallen forms

Variagated Helleborine No.2 - today I managed to cage it to try and save predation.

23rd June 2021 - Hutton Roof

I have been up this morning (Wed 23rd June 2021) but there is little doing. First of all I must say how happy we are to get the rains this morning, this will help loads! its just what we wanted with perfect timing. The way it was going we may well have got some stunted versions and losses on account of little water, but these rains have saved the day and now I think we will get some cracking specimens. BUT this year there are delays, I really dont expect things to get going now (proper) for another week at least. I will probably go up again on Sunday just to monitor but think now its probably all systems go from about the 30th June. Report back on Sunday. 

21st June 2021 - Hutton Roof

(Midsummers Day)

Today started off well with managing to get a photo showing a Argogorytes mystaceus (wasp) clinging hard to a Fly Orchid.

Moving on I found the first of the year atrorubens plant with a couple of flowers open.

Again some fabulous helleborines on their way.

19th June 2021 - Hutton Roof

Did a quick check out over the past couple of days and everything seems to be doing well with just the odd casualty being recorded on account of deer or hare predation. I guess we are probably 5 - 7 days behind the usual.

Today I did a brief tour of the South side of the Orchid field and it looks like the 11s are doing OK and showing the usual compound growth typical of what to expect with this particular hybrid orchid. Perhaps will grow to one metre. In the same vicinity one of the hybrids as re-appeared after missing for one year. Also a new little pallens beauty is taking shape (see photo below).

The most striking adventure of today was checking out the recently found "Helleborine" quarters on the adjoining pavements. It was incredible in numbers perhaps yielding over 150 sturdy plants (could be more which I will try and survey over the coming week or two) of which we will get several really special specimens.  Here below are some of the photos from todays check out:

(above) New for this year - expected to be a Pallans variety and a addition to the 9 family. 

(above) This one I found last year and instantly recognised it has my idea of a typical hybrid although it was missing its inflorescence by the time I found it (2020), but hopefully this time it will come through OK, looking just the ticket! so far and definately meeting the criteria. And deserved of special protection.

(above) Shame about this one, it was probably one of our better helleborines with a stem diameter of approx 1/2" it was some mean machine, but sadly the deer have already been "naughty".

(below)  And now then I want to show you a very special specimen/s SW4/5/6 last year, but this year it is SW 4 and SW 5 with one of them having gone missing... (several photos)

And now for other nice Helleborines and Specimens found again in this close area

15th June 2021 - Hutton Roof

Today made a new cage for 15d and went up to fix it which all went well. Also spent time changing around and refixing some of the cages for added protection to the vunerable

A special super large cage made up in readiness for a super large plant eg: 15d (Epipactis schmalhauseneii- hybrid)

In situ on site

A closer look!

This area holds some beauties and here caged is a almost replica to 11a although some 200 yards further east

(above) fixing cage to the variagated helleborine.

14th June 2021 Hutton Roof.

Everything is coming along nicely and almost everything present and correct. Here are a few photos to show the progress of some of the "stars".

(above) Escarp 13 - Strong Bicolor
14th June 2021

(above) Escarp 13 - Bicolor
10th July 2017

(above)15d Epipactis schmalhauseneii (hybrid)
Photo: 14th June 2021

The above is the fabulous 15d Epipactis schmalhauseneii hybrid which first showed in 2017 and had a very impressive inflorescence with a record of no less than 62 flowers (see photo below) and looking at it today may well follow on the same. Eventually in 2017 was predated, 2018 came through but very stunted, 2019 No show, 2020, taken down by Hare in early growth. (see photo here from 2017)

(Above - Showing photo of 15d from 2017)

(above) shows 15a,15b and 15c
Epipactis schmalhauseneii - hybrids
Photo: 14th June 2021.
(To see them in full bloom see below)

(above) Photo: 20th July 2014
Shows both 15a and 15b (before 15c and 15d came along)
I have histories for these from 2014. They came through in most years but went missing in 2020 so its great to see them coming through again this year. 

Above shows "Dark Stemmed Helleborine (for now!)" SW7 
photo taken 14th June 2021

Dark stemmed helleborine which is named SW7 and alongside you see the regular helleborine, this pair are very interesting. Only discovered last year (2020). Check out last years photo below:

(above) SW7 seen last year
Photo: July 2021

(above) is the beautiful 40's atroruben - Bicolor
I have histories from 2014 and in most years it suffers one way or another.
The following photo shows them at their best

Epipactis atrorubens - bicolor
(above) shows 40 and 40a from 2014 and 2017

(above) is the variegated "Helleborine" from yesterday (14th June 2021).  The variagation is still holding out within the plant, just as strong. Maybe one day we will see it again in it's former glory, just like the photo below

(above) shows Helleborine "variagated" from July 2016

(above) shows Helleborine "variagated" from July 2016

(below) Other fabulous specimens now on their way!

24th May 2021 Hutton Roof.

Did a full check up today, the only atroruben type plants showing were plants of high vigour and which included one or two hybrids or very strong atrorubens.  Strangely the helleborines were lagging (in my opinion) and these are as a rule the very first to show in regards to emergence shoots. 

This one above is a member of the 15 family and is already strong which I would expect from a hybrid.


strong hybrid

Regular atrorubens

Family 33

Regular atrorubens

PMG - Hybrid