Friday, 22 September 2017

Greystones Farm: More Fruiting Orchids

Bourton on the Water lies about 17 miles from Hook Norton, over the county border in Gloucestershire.   There is a Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust reserve there - Greystones Farm - which supports quite large numbers of two orchids, Southern Marsh (Dactylorhiza praetermissa) and Early Marsh (Dactylorhiza incarnata ssp. incarnata), in two unimproved wet meadows by the River Eye.

I went looking for fruiting plants, finding a few of both, judged from the leaf width, subtle differences in habitat and the leaf edges.  The seed pods of SMO were shorter and thinner (Average 8.9 x 4.8mm, n=10) than those of EMO (Average 11.5 x 5.5mm n=10).  Despite variability the difference between the two was statistically significant. 

Southern Marsh 

Southern Marsh Leaf

Early Marsh

Early Marsh Leaf
 By contrast size differences between the the seeds of the two species were not different statistically (Av. 0.65 x 0.18 mm vs. Av. 0.71 x 0.18mm).  Examples of each:

Southern Marsh Seed x 100

Early Marsh Seed x100

Back in the village, fungi are starting to appear.   I take this to be Stubble Rosegill (Volvariella gloiocephala), growing under a blackcurrant bush which I have regularly mulched.

Stubble Rosegill

Stubble Rosegill Spores x 630

No moth trapping so far this month.   Overnight showers have been a constant, but the forecast for this weekend looks promising

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