Its probably gone on for years, yet it was about four years ago that I started to notice that certain small populations of E.helleborines were far more purple coloured than the norm, some so dense in colour just like the one above, although most were a lesser but more regular purple like the ones in the photos below. Also with purpurea I have noticed that the "very large" helleborine leaves also show a distinct darker tone against the norm which again probably indicates some sort of interference.
Another thing I did notice about these heavily purple coloured plants was that they all were recorded lying within canopy with plenty of shade and were generally on the fringes of copse or woodland, with occasional plants situated well into the canopy by some ten to fifteen foot. There are two or three places in particular on the Hutton Roof Crags that can produce small populations of this "Purpurea" variety. One area in particular may have as many as 5 or 6 in a small area of say 10ft square. (see sketch below)
|Photo of Purpurea or dark form No.1 - 4th August 2017 (Click over to enlarge)|
also see the flowers close up in the next photo
|Purpurea or Dark Form No.1 - 4th August 2017 (Click over to enlarge)|
|Purpurea or Dark Form No.1 on 8th August 2017 (Click over to enlarge)|
|Purpurea or Dark Form No.1 13th August 2017 (Click over to enlarge)|
|Purpurea or Dark Form No.1 on 13th August 2017|
|Purpurea or Dark Form No.3 - Photo taken 4th August 2017 (Click over to enlarge)|
|Purpurea or dark form No.3 - Photo taken 4th August 2017 (Click over to enlarge)|
I guess all this is to do with photo-synthesis, and the area not getting enough direct sunlight must have something to do with it all. I do know this that it produces some fine looking specimens just like this one above which I took only last year (2017). This plant was not too far away from Specimen One (purpurea) which I showed earlier.
2018 Update (Purpurea or Dark Form No.3)
Checked it out at the correct times and there just was no show at all.
|This is mid to dark and was taken in 2014 (Click over to enlarge)|
|This is probably the "lightest" that I would qualify "Purpurea or dark form" from specimen 15 in 2012|
(Click over to enlarge)
|This is a very nice plant (Specimen 15 purpurea or dark form) within a small population|
which is shown in the (See sketch below) - photo taken Aug 28th 2012
(Click over to enlarge)
|Spec No 15 purpurea or dark form - photo taken in 2012 (Click over to enlarge)|
|This is a sketch I did in 2013 showing the population but lots of aborted flowers (Click over to enlarge)|