Saturday, 17 June 2017

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"

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 of what's going on at Hutton Roof Crags. I am currently collating all the information and including much more on a daily basis, so please keep coming back.   

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:


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  (complete)

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

to include a sketch showing comparisons between atrorubens, helleborine and schmalhauseneii
also a mention of and samples of using denticulation as a "supportive!" aide with identification.


The four natural predators of our orchids  (complete)

Lovely Plants - Straight Atrorubens


Lemon-Petalled Atroruben varieties (at least 2 varieties)


Albiflora (variety of atrorubens)  (complete)

Lutescens and Pallens (variety of atrorubens)

Variagated plants (variety of helleborine) (complete)

Chlorantha (variety of helleborine) (complete)

Purpurea (variety of helleborine)  (complete)

Westmorlandii (variety of helleborine) (complete)


Epipactis Schmalhauseneii (the hybrid itself)

includes: Specimen 8,9,9a,10,15,16,70
also resulting "weak twisted stem specimens which maybe F1"

Interesting plants to get to the bottom of

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

Diary Pages

Daily reports of progress of studies etc


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)

Diary Pages

Saturday 24th June 2017 - Hutton Roof 1000hrs to 1600hrs

Checking out all our best orchid sites and we have now got about 15 atrorubens in flower. For now this is one of our interesting specimens No.33 and is considered a Schmalhausenii No.33. The bottom two flowers have just opened up today and you can see where the epichile and bosses are almost white. 

Specimen 33 (Schmal) as photographed today 24th June 2017
 (Click over to enlarge)
You may noted it is lemon-petalled but even more interesting
is the almost white epichile and bosses

Specimen 34 (Schmal) as photographed today 24th June 2017
(Click over to enlarge)

This shows part of specimen 34 photographed today which is showing quite a lot of lemon petalled and also considered last year to be a possible Schmalhausenii.  The plant is within one metre of Schmal 33.  The plant also was monitored both in 2015 and 2016.

Schmal 1 photo today on 24th June 2017 (Click over to enlarge)

The two photos above are Schmalhausenii No.1 as seen today.  Note the bottom two flowers are both turned upwards showing off their epichile and bosses and other bits and pieces.  The plant had its main large basal leaf part predated and chopped a couple of weeks ago but since it has romped on. This plant has been monitored since 2012 and is to my knowledge at least 5 years old.  The plant failed in 2015 and just showed as a small runt indicating early day predation.  Also last year 2016 it came through OK but fell victim of a "deercut" and we were left with only the basal leaf which is low down (18" down in the gryke)

Schmal 15,16,16a - (Click over to enlarge)
This was the situation today, its quite obvious Mr. Hare has demolished our new plant No.16a, but why he has to do what he has to 16 beats me, its a regular trait were he gives it the snip and leaves it dangling without actually eating it!.  In fact below is the photo from 2015 when it was the turn of Schmal 15 to get the snip!

Schmal 15,16 back in 2015 (Click over to enlarge)
fell prey to the Brown Hare and received the "Harecut"
Now then I found a plant that looks like it will be a cracker when it comes out. Its quite close to our Schmals 15 and 16 and I am sure by the build it is a "offspring" from them like many more around there.  Just look at the flower yield on this - theres got to be around 40 on this one!

I am not sure I think we have this one on record already (click over to enlarge)

This one was a new plant for me a lovely looking thing as I was crossing over the fell.  In fact there are several around this tree which do look interesting and I will shortly spend some time there and get more information and photos but for now here is this one.  Straight forward atrorubens!! well I think so.....

A lovely atrorubens with standard coloured flowers
(Click over to enlarge)
The Roe Deer have just started their predation with several of the atrorubens falling victim together with one of our better "Helleborines" which you can see in the photo.  The general picture so far is pretty good with predation on the low side (at least for now!)

Roe Deer predation on Atroruben groups (Click to enlarge)
24th June 2017

One of our better Helleborines falls victim of Roe Deer
(Click over to enlarge)
25th June 2017.

Another atrorubens from today (Click over to enlarge)
This plant is really forward with most of its flowers open, but it is within the minority, because most will be opening over the next ten days or so.

Another Atrorubens which has just started to open up
(Click over to enlarge)

Monday 19th June 2017 - Hutton Roof 0900hrs to 1100hrs

Checked on Specimen 70 (Schmal 70) which is coming through very well and as usual a very light green.  This year also it has come through with a new specimen at the side of it which for now is labelled 70a and which so far does look very much like a positive offspring of 70 which you can see in the following photograph.

Specimen 70 and the new 70a (Schmal 70) - Click over to enlarge
Here below is a photograph of how Specimen 70 looked last year. It is a striking plant which first of all hits you by the very light green throughout.  Also as you can see from the following photo it shows lovely red/magenta flowers which contrast so well with the green.

Specimen 70 (Schmal 70) LAST YEAR 13th July 2016   (Click over to enlarge)

Specimen 70 (Schmal 70) LAST YEAR 13th July 2016   (Click over to enlarge)
Such a beautiful plant which in my opinion does have similarities to Schmal 8 (2014) and also Schmal 11 and 12 (2014).  see old photos below. The position of Specimen 70 from the other plants (8,11 and 12) is approx 200 yards to their direct West. 

Specimen 8 (Schmal) from 7th July 2014)
Specimen 11 (Schmal) from 7th July 2014)

Also decided to check out Specimen 14 (Schmal No.14) which sadly has been predated by Mr. Hare.  He is up to his old tricks again and although we love him dearly I just wish he would eat what he chomps!  If you look closely on the photo you will see a little minced pile of the flowerhead which he has made.  Also shown below this photo is a photo of how Schmal 14 looked on the 12th July 2016

Spec 14 (Schmal No.14) Click over to enlarge

and here below I have put a photo on of how Schmal No.14 was last year on 12th July 2016. I noticed that around this plant are another two nice atrorubens, but obviously they must not have been so tempting.  If you look at this photo also you can see that this plant may well have qualified for the "Lemon Petalled" status.

Spec 14 (Schmal No.14) in better days - 12th July 2016 (Click over to enlarge)

I was really pleased to see that var: Westmorlandii is alive and well and just starting its growth....

And here is showing 9a which is doing well.  In fact all that family seem to be doing well 9,9b,11,12 etc etc. 

Nice development on 9a taken on 19th June 2017

Saturday 17th June 2017 - Hutton Roof 0900hrs to 1130hrs

Today I thought it was probably apt for me to try and map out a productive area which includes such rarities as Specimen 66 and 55 (both Lemon Petalled specimens) and closeby is the "albiflora".

I first of all checked out No.66 which is a superb light green showing plant which you can how it is showing with today's photos here.

Shows the full Spec 66 (Lemon Petalled) plant approx 12" as today (Click over to enlarge)

Spec 66 (Lemon Petalled) showing very green stem and lower leaves (Click over to enlarge)

Spec 66 (Lemon Petalled) showing a very light and full flowerhead (Click over to enlarge)
Spec 66 (Lemon Petalled) photo taken last year 2016 and shows just how colourful the plant is
(Click over to enlarge)

And here below is how Specimen 55 is showing today.  This plant is usually very early and can be the first of the main Lemon Petalled varieties to appear.  Its also a tall plant when fully mature it will probably be about 18" high and will usually have about 21 flowers. Notes have been taken on this specimen since 2015 so this is now it's third year.

Specimen 55 (Lemon Petalled) as on 17th June 2017 (Click over to enlarge)

Specimen 55 (Lemon Petalled) Lower Sections as on 17th June 2017 (Click over to enlarge)

Specimen 55 (Lemon Petalled) flowerhead as on 17th June 2017 (Click over to enlarge)

Specimen 55 (Lemon Petalled) flowers as on 1st July 2016 (Click over to enlarge)
This next plant I found today is still within the productive area and is already looking very unusual with a strange leaf pattern

A interesting specimen found today very patterned leaves (Click over to enlarge)
This was a striking "atrorubens" plant showing a little variagation within it's leaves. And today I did check out the beautiful "variagated" helleborine which is coming along nicely but still a mystery. Here is today's photo of the plant

A cracking specimen but so dark a stem for a "Helleborine"
(Click over to enlarge)
Also today I found yet another variagated "seedling - leaves only" growing about one metre away from this plant.  

Checked out several others which are doing OK.  To finish off today check out this photo of "Little and Large"

Todays photo of "Little and Large" 17th June 2017 (Click over to enlarge

Friday 16th June 2017 - Hutton Roof 0900hrs to 1100hrs

Decided to check out a area of Hutton Roof on the other side to where I have been working recently.  I wanted to check out some old Schmalhausenii or for that matter some of the fabulous "Atrorubens" etc.  But initially it proved very disappointing with most of the Schmals having now disappeared and just not coming through again.  I have realised it has been a downward trend in this part of HR for some time now especially in connection to the hybrids. I guess its a lesson that we cannot take these special plants for granted and think they are going to be around forever more.  However all was worth it to find a very special new plant today (3a shown below), and here is why I think so. 

Probable relation to long gone Specimen 3 (Click over to enlarge)

So what makes this so interesting to me? well first of all geographically it is only within approx five feet of the original Schmalhausenii No.3 (which sadly failed with no growth in both 2015 and 2016 and subsequently the plant was written off).  Also this plant is one of the bolder specimens from "these parts" which I call "aerials" (eg: television aerials of the 60s), meaning their leaves are exceptionally narrow and elongated together with the additional feature that the leaves are "not opposites to the stem", but are "alternate around the stem, and not only this but also show abnormally extra large lower bracts as you can see in the photographs.  This seems to be a very local feature which I can say I am sure I have only ever recorded before in this very (local) area.

Another photo of a cracking specimen possibly related to our old Spec 3 and
which shows the "aerial" large bracts and 30 plus flowers which go all around the stem. 

3a showing the very narrow elongated spiralling leaves

Thursday 15th June 2017 - Hutton Roof - Checking out Schmal No.1 and "Purpurea" variants etc  1300hrs to 1600hrs

Epipactis Schmalhausenii No.1 as featured today 15th June 2017 (Click over to enlarge)

Checking out some Helleborines today - Purpurea specimens - First to check was Purpurea No.17 which is also known to me as "Big Leaf" because it comes through every year and if not predated it is expected to show as a beautiful "Purpurea" specimen.  Here is a photo showing its progress today. You can see from this photo why its called "Big Leaf"

"Big Leaf" Helleborine - Purpurea No.17

Tuesday 13th June 2017 - Hutton Roof 1500hrs to 1800hrs

The first orchid to check out today was No.66 which is a beautiful Lemon Petalled Specimen and this is the photo of the plant as of today:

Specimen 66 - Lemon Petalled on Green Stem (Click over photo to enlarge)
You can already see the overall green involved with this plant.  Here is a photo showing the beautiful flowers this plant produced last year.

Specimen 66 - Lemon Petalled on Green Stem - Photo taken 2016 (Click over to enlarge)
On checking some of the main Epipactis yesterday they are doing really well this year with the initial checks although one or two are now starting to become victims of the Hare which we would expect anyway, just keep fingers crossed they take the ones which are not included in the studies.

The following shows you a example of the "Harecut" in this case to one of our E.Helleborines.  You can usually get a idea who the culprit is by the angle of the cut like you can see here.  With the Roe Deer they usually make their cut straight across (or at the slightest of angles)

Epipactis Helleborine yesterday (Click over to enlarge)
Fell victim to the Hare and you see the cut at a strong angle
Although you do expect many casualties over the season, occasionally it is noticed that the Hare gives the plant the snip and leaves the flower head dangling without even eating it.  That just is annoying!  I have noticed that the quicker the heads produce colourful flowers the safer the plant becomes.  It must be the colour in some instances that puts them off.

Here is Schmals 15,16,16a all coming through well (Click over to enlarge)

What about this one I found today and have now christened "Little and Large" the largest one being about 2ft high and the small atrorubens about 6"

"In the shadow of" (Click over to enlarge)
Now checking one of the main "colonies".  A area which is full of Schmals with plenty of offsprings around and plenty of maybe's and breed backs etc etc etc.  To start I will now show Specimen 9a which generally comes through a very pale plant and it looks very much like this year will be the same.  Although it cannot be confirmed for sure all the evidence so far "especially the light colourings" point to the fact that it is possibly a offspring from Schmal 9.  So here is the photo today and also followed by a photo of last years little beauty.

Specimen 9a - a very pale plant - 15th June 2017 (Click over to enlarge)

And here below is a photo of the same plant from last year (2016).  I feel as though the 9a, 9b etc are from the original specimen 9.  This is based purely on geographical location and unique colourings only.  Samples from last year (2016) (under permit) have been collected and are waiting DNA analysis which will hopefully confirm this either way.

Specimen 9a from 7th July 2016 (Click over to enlarge)
Here is another photo of Specimen 9a from 17th July 2015 and following on with yet another photo of the same specimen against a "straight" atrorubens nearby, which does then show you the colour contrast.  These photos are so good in that they show quite good comparison on the previous years and eventually when I get time I will show you photos heading from the original 9 and its possible family members!!

Specimen 9a from 17th July 2015 (Click over to enlarge)

Specimen 9a from 17th July 2015 (Click over to enlarge)
This photo above shows the plant in situ with a "straight" atrorubens coming up at the side of it.  This plant never showed in 2016 and so far this year there is no evidence showing for this year, although the 9a is doing well as previously shown.

Several more plants were also checked out and so far it looks a good year!

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Interesting Plants we have still to get to the bottom of!

So close, yet so far away (Click over to enlarge) (Photo: Bryan Yorke 2016)

I see this so many times when you get plants of the same family close together but with totally different characteristics just like these two.  On the left side you have the straightforward (as we know it!) Atrorubens yet on the right at a distance of only 14" away we have a specimen showing signs of "Yellow Petalled". How can things be so different yet so close! I guess its all a mystery for now.


Specimen 65 (12th July 2016)

Specimen 65 - a really interesting atrorubens (Click over photo to enlarge)
(Photo: Bryan Yorke 12th July 2016)
This particular plant which I found last year (2016) was striking on several accounts. For one its strong opposite colours stood out a mile.  It had a couple of pointers which had strong resemblance to E. Helleborine possible input, whilst at the same time recognizing it had to be a "atrorubens"!

The area were this was found has a grand old mixture about it, with several E. Helleborine, some with a very light phase and a odd one bordering the "chlorantha stage" (Helleborine observed a couple of weeks later), also there are a couple of schmalhauseneii (hybrids) closeby, also some lemon petalled etc etc all within a few metres of the plant.

Specimen 65 showing a more close up of the top section (Click over photo to enlarge)
(Photo: Bryan Yorke 12th July 2016)

Specimen 65 showing a close up of the head (Click over photo to enlarge)
(Photo: Bryan Yorke 12th July 2016)
(3rd June 2017) Update: I searched everywhere for this beauty but at the moment it is not yet showing.

These two specimens have not yet been assessed but look very interesting (Click over to enlarge)
They are very close to the main activity  (Photo: Bryan Yorke 8th July 2016)

3 Little beauties - at the moment classified as straight "Atrorubens" but we know deep down that can't be!!
Photo: Bryan Yorke on 3rd June 2017 - (Click over to enlarge)
(3rd June 2017) I found these last year and they are very close (a couple of metres) from the Specimen 65 mentioned above. I was keeping a eye on them last year but sadly the deer got to them and gave them the snip! they look very interesting and time will tell.  They are in a typical mixed up area which includes Schmalhauseneii hybrids, nearly Chloranthas, unusal looking helleborines and a few atrorubens with green stems, so all in all there is a good mixture in this particular area.#

a beautiful "dark" atrorubens found 7th June 2017 (Click over to enlarge)
(7th June 2017)  I found this beautiful atrorubens which is probably one of the darkest I have ever come across.  It was found under light canopy of shade although around the plant there were others that were green or light green.