Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Pallens - Light coloured formed Varieties of Atrorubens and other Lutescen Forms

Collage made up of "Pallens" specimens which we have on Hutton Roof (Click over to enlarge)
Top: Pallens 1 and Pallens 2, Middle Pallens 3, Pallens 4, Pallens 5 Bottom: Pallens 6 and Pallens 7 (2 photos)

The seven recorded "Pallens of Hutton Roof" together with their histories are photographed and recorded below:

I guess here with the Atrorubens "Pallens" (or light forms) that we do have something really special which can be seen on Hutton Roof (Cumbria) and to my knowledge we have only had one other example of a light form in England which was found outside of Hutton Roof and further North and yet still within the district of Cumbria (see photos below of find by Alan Gendle). The only other known example within the UK as far as I am aware was found on The Burren.

Throughout Hutton Roof with over (100 hectares in total), I cannot say I have found the pallens (or light forms) widespread, and I have only found them within a small 400 yard diameter section of one localised area within Hutton Roof complex which this same area is also representative of 95% of the established fertile hybrid Epipactis schmalhauseneii. At times when I actually look at the "pallens plants" I wonder to myself whether we are actually dealing more with a hybrid in its possible forms rather than a variety of which it is currently classified!

Although all seven of the Hutton Roof "pallens (or light forms)" do have visual similarities, there are also many individual differences in particular to the depths of greens, lemon and mottled red interference. There are no two plants the same.

Obviously at this stage I feel I probably need to look at each plant as a separate entity or varietal name from the Pallens umbrella, so for now have given them the names of Pallens, 1,2,3 and so on.....

Pallens No.1

found in the "9s" area in July 2014

The following plant was found by Alan Gendle and Bryan Yorke on Hutton Roof in July 2014 and from the next two photos below you can see just how green looking it is:

"Palans" Variety - found by Alan Gendle and Bryan Yorke in 2014 - photo Bryan Yorke
Click over photo to enlarge

The first Palens Variety found on Hutton Roof by Alan Gendle and Bryan Yorke in 2014 -
 This plant does show some "red" specking on the frilly bosses

2015 update

Sadly the same plant did not make it in 2015 because of deer predation.

2016 update
Below I have taken a photo of how it was in 2016 (see photo below).

The 2016 Plant stands at about 10" high and we have had it secured in a wire cage surround for the past two years.  Here is a photo showing the same plant in 2016.

Palans No.1 in 2016 -  Click over to enlarge
I notice this year the plant has come through with far more "purple" showing, you can see this in particular to the ovaries and mixed in within the sepals.  So have we got a plant here which is turning back to red sepals?  The size of the plant has not changed and it will be interesting to see the outcome.

2017 update

Sadly the same plant Pallans No.1 did not survive in 2017, although the plant did reach full growth and had a flowerhead and was just days before flowering when it actually keeled over and it was suspected that the plant had been attacked directly in its root stock by something unknown predation eg: slug or otherwise, but no confirmation of what had caused it could be resolved.

2018 update  The plant was not seen or recorded



Some nice follow up reading at the following German website:


2017 (4 plants survive to maturity) -  Has been a exceptional year for the "light coloured or very pale specimens" and I want to show them off here.  For now it probably is OK for me to call them and list them under a "Pallans" variety which is also the general opinion, although to be quite honest long term I would not be happy with that.  Probably the reason I am a little discouraged on the name "Pallans" or for that matter qualifying to be a variety  is that the plants do tend to have a very light lemony green stem. So if I think about it that probably does mean that there could well be a situation whereby a "helleborine" influence has taken place within that particular plant and thus if that is the case it would qualify rather for a hybrid than a particular variety. The area in itself is full of hybrids, suspected hybrids with large numbers of both atrorubens and helleborines.

So logic does tell me that "hybrid" rather than variety must be the outcome in these case, and if so why on earth would you need to bring a variety into the reckoning!

So just for now I will refer these as Pallans variety or light phase atrorubens but a question mark hangs over them as far as I am concerned...

Pallens No.2  (originally called 9a and derives from parentage No.9)

So this year (2017) we will start with our ever faithful No.9a

No.9a which is a very light plant (Click over to enlarge)
A photo from July 2017.
This is a well established plant and was first recorded in 2015 and came through a little darker than in the above photo but still very light.  It was also very weak and fragile and had several kinks within its build. In both 2016 and again this year (2017) the plant has gone from strength to strenth.  The plant however still retains a kink just above half way up.  The plant is about 13" high and usually has between 17 and 21 flowers.

The next photo shows a more close up of the plant which is clear to have lemon coloured sepals, yet very light washed pink on its yellow petals. Also the rib of the petals and sepals is not showing any red pronounced line like you come to expect with (Lemon Petalled or Lempets). The underside of the petals does show some pink blotch and spot staining which you can associate with the Pallans variety. Also of note is the very light (but NOT white) epichile, whilst the large ragged bosses does have a red flush to them.  Another interesting fact of these plants can be the light green ovaries.  For now I have linked this specimen to a number 9 in ancestry although that would need dna investigation to confer. The geographical of this plant is approx 14ft away from that 9 ancestry plant which no longer is with us.

This photo shows 9a in more detail (Click over to enlarge
2018 - 9a came through as usual and was at it's regular height, but just about the time the buds were due to open the plant was predated and its plume went missing.  Culprit Roe Deer had delicately taken it through the segments of the cage.

Pallens No.3 

The next plant of special interest within this section is Specimen Escarp No.8 (2017) which I first discovered in 2017.

This is Escarp No. 8 - A very pale form which came through in 2017 (Click over to enlarge)

This is a beautiful plant which we have been so privileged to witness this year for the first time. Please excuse the photography but the plant actually is very erect and has managed to survive throughout its growing season without incurring predation, although after saying that one of the flowers and hypochiles have had a piece taken out of them. I also want to show another photo here which has more close up views.

Another photo of Escarp 8 in close up (Click over to enlarge)
This is a good photo which gives a clearer picture of the situation. It is without doubt a very light phase plant and full of "light green".  Again a typical feature of our so called "Pallans" would be the staining to both the epichile and bosses.  Although of a creamy background they have a gentle light specking or mottled light red, which also features on the undersides of the sepals. Again a very strong light green stem and with light green ovaries. The photo also shows a light red wash staining to the upper sepals which is hardly noticeable in the immediate view.  So for me it is a Atrorubens led plant although without doubt there is also plenty of Helleborine as well. Although we do call it a "Pallans" variety, I am sure that this will in time be proved to be a Hybrid rather than a variety.

2018 - Escarp 8  Was taken down in its early days (at about 6") although it was caged and all evidence looked very much like possible slug damage or other underground problems (eg: wobble foundations). It's close neighbour which is a regular but small red atrorubens has come through OK.

Pallens No.4

The next plant of special interest within the section of "Pallans" or "Light Phase" plants is a (unamed for now) plant (2017).

100 yards to the NW of 55 (Click over to enlarge)
Another of unamed 100 yards to the NW of 55 (Click over to enlarge)
Another of the beauties which I only recently found and by then the plant had started to go over rapidly, but has you can see was something really special, so it has been recorded and ready for next year.

This plant falls in line exactly with the two aforementioned with its super light green features, green ovaries.  Again a more strong "lemon coloured sepal" whilst a lighter yellow petals which both the sepal and petal are intermittently stained with a light red dots and blemishes, this staining also goes through to the undersides of both sepal and petal and again shows up on both the epichile and bosses. For now it will be classed under Pallans but not happy with all that green there I would yet again say it must have "helliborine" influence!

2018 - Plant 100 yards NW of 55 - After regular checking out the plant during June, it has not come through at all in 2018.  Although this specimen has not shown, there is one that has and quite closeby which shows all the signs of a "palans"

Pallens No.5

2018 - "Palans" NW of 55 - discovered in July 2018 and a feeble plant

Very small "Palans" plant showing at about 50 yards NW of 55 and almost across from 15C
The plant nestles at the LH bottom corner of a large hazel and could easily be overlooked
(Click over to enlarge)

Pallens No. 6

Now I would like to move on to Specimen 9k which is also considered "Pallans" or Light phased (2017). 

This is 9k which was only found on 13th July 2017 (Click over to enlarge)

9k showing a close up of the plant (Click over to enlarge)

This is a plant I just found by sheer accident and was behaving more in a creeper fashion than a upright plant just has the top photo shows, but on closer inspection it bore all the make up to yet again qualify for one of these rare "Pallans or Light phase" plants.

The light green was there again throughout the stem and ovaries.  The flowers were lemony and lighter to both sepals and petals and again had all the regular staining of red dots and dashes.

2018 update  Plant never found during 2018

Also worth a mention is that Pallans No.1 which is shown in the very early photographs (prior to 2017) got to the pre flowering stage when it just keeled over and on close inspection looked to me as though perhaps a predator (slug or otherwise) had got to its rootstock, so we are without this one this year.  I just wanted to particularly mention it at this stage because No.9k is perhaps a few yards from that specimen.

Pallens No. 7

Palans in the 55 block (No: 55 1a)  (from 2015)

A Palans plant within metres of 55
Photo: Kindly shared to us by Richard Mielcarek

A Pallans plant within metres of 55
Photo: Kindly shared to us by Richard Mielcarek

From back in 2015.  The plant has never matured fully during 2016 or 2017 and just comes through with base leaves but no flowerhead.  Here is a couple of superb photos taken by Richard Mielcarek from back in 2015

2018 update
Specimen 55 1a - in 2018 - same plant that Richard Mielcarek photographed in 2015

Specimen 55 1a - in 2018 (Close up photo) Click over to enlarge

A beautiful plant which was re-discovered in 2018 and comes up in company of yet another special (although red) variety quite close to it.

Pallans - (A. Gendle) on Cumbria Fell

Alan Gendle had previously found the very first Palans for the Cumbria County in 2008.   Just for the record here below is Alan's first Palans find which was found far more North than here.

Cumbria's very first "Palans" first found in 2008 by Alan Gendle (Photo: Alan Gendle)
Click over to enlarge

This is a photo of where Cumbria's first recorded "Palans" variety was found by Alan Gendle
in 2008 (photo: Alan Gendle) Click over to enlarge


var: Lutescens -  A atrorubens variety with lots of similarities to the Pallens varieties. Usually small of about 10-12". Usually a lemon petalled but does retain lots of red in the sepals and ovaries (although ovaries can be brown). Always showing white or cream epichile and bosses.

"Lutescen No.1" 

This was my first "Lutescen Variant which I found in July 2014  (Click over to enlarge)
The specimen stands at about 10" high and shows reddish sepals and yellow petals, but also of particular interest is the creamy epichile and the very large cream fluffy bosses.  At the time of finding I had not relized just what I had found, until I consulted my friend Alan Gendle who then could not wait to get over to check it out and he was not disappointed. Alan had previously found the very first Palans for the Cumbria County several years ago (shown in photos above), so he was particular pleased with my find.

Also in that same year (2014) I also found another Lutescens (red and lemon) on another pavement some 400 yards away from the first, this was a very weak specimen although it did qualify.  I checked the specimen in 2015 and it was still coming through OK for a Lutescens. It stands at about 8 to 10" high. The specimen has not been checked since 2015.

Today (14th August 2017) perhaps appropriate as well to check out a leaf sample from "Lutescens 1") the small plant which I found in 2014 (and shown above) which never grows much above 10" which also shows a red and lemon petalled plant (to a far lesser degree in contrasting colours than lempets) and also comes through with a white epichile and bosses. I do have the plant protected with a small wire cage which so far keeps it safe from predation.
The denticulation profile on this plant on the study of one of the midway lanceolate leaves is that it is a 100% atrorubens profile. I viewed at length for "red flush" but was unable to confirm this with clarity because the sample is probably too well worn and long past its best, although there is a sort of "rusty line" along the base of the teeth which could have started out has a "red flush line".
Just for the record the only differences I have noted this year is that the ovaries have deepened colour to more "purple" than past years losing its purple/greenish look!
Certainly from what I have been able to establish today, it is has previously recorded and considered, that of a "variety" and nothing more than that at this stage. Photo: 9th July 2014, also July 2016 (courtesy of Jon Dunn) and 8th July 2017

Lutescens No.1 on 9th July 2014 (Photo: B. Yorke)

Lutescens No.1 taken July 2016 (Photo: Courtesy of Jon Dunn)

Lutescens No.1 on 8th July 2017 (B.Yorke)

Lutescens No.1 in 2018 (30th June 2018)

Here below is Specimen 73a (Lutescens No.3) which lies to the bottom (or West side) of the study plot and is just before entering the close enclosed tree area.

Specimen 73a (or Lutescens No.3) Click over to enlarge

Specimen 73a (Lutescens No.3)

A beautiful little plant found in 2017.  It fits the descriptions for "Lutescens" as I understand it. Growing to a height of approx 8" to 10" with the (lemon-petalled flavour) and marked especially with its cream epichile and bosses. I cannot leave the following plant out because I found this one within one metre of 73a but down in a shallow grike.  I have called this one Specimen 73b - It sort of meets the Lutescens but does have more pink within the epichile

2018 update of 73a (Lutescen 3)   After thorough searching on several occasions the plant never appeared in 2018

Specimen 73b (Lutescens No.4) - Click over to enlarge

2018 update of 73b (Lutescen 4)   After thorough searching on several occasions the plant never appeared in 2018


"Collage called "Reflections 2018"
Click over to enlarge
Showing some of the special plants of 2018 and made up here on December 25th 2018