Monday, 28 July 2014

New Wild Orchid

Many thanks to the little butterfly I was chasing which led me to this wildflower.  Identifying it has been difficult, but we think it's Irish Lady's Tresses, Spiranthes romanzoffiana.  If it is, it's a first for us on West Ardnamurchan, and this patch of grassland becomes, according to Plantlife Scotland - page here - the twelfth site in Britain in which this rare and endangered orchid is growing.

We found just two of them, growing closely together.  Since we've not seen them anywhere else and, according to this site, their main Scottish stronghold is on Barra and Benbecula, we wonder how on earth they arrived here.

This is a rather poor picture of the leaves, but it can be seen that they are long and thin and lacking in spots; and the stem is very long.

If anyone can confirm the identification, we'd be very grateful.

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