NZ1265 : Dune Helleborine (Epipactis dunensis), Close House Riverside

taken 8 years ago, near to Wylam, Northumberland, Great Britain

Dune Helleborine (Epipactis dunensis), Close House Riverside
Dune Helleborine (Epipactis dunensis), Close House Riverside
A nationally rare species LinkExternal link I have looked for here NZ1265 : River Tyne east of Stephenson's Cottage over several years. Today I was lucky and found several well growing plants with long flower spikes.
It is one of the unusual plants growing on riverside land which is heavily contaminated by the metals lead, zinc and cadmium (calaminarian) from mining operations further west in the South Tyne valley. The woodland where this species grows, and the adjacent grassland areas, home to other rarities NZ1264 : Alpine penny-cress (Thlaspi alpestre) are managed as a nature reserve by Northumberland Wildlife Trust LinkExternal link (Archive LinkExternal link )
A document by Janet Simpkin details the characteristic flora of this rare habitat type LinkExternal link
Dune Helleborine is endemic to Britain with 32 sites in northern England and southern Scotland. The plants found on 21 sites in the Tyne and South Tyne valleys, Carlisle, County Durham and north-west Yorkshire have been considered by some taxonomists to be a separate variant, 'Tyne Helleborine'. It is said to differs from the coastal form both in its specialised, inland habitat and greener flowers, but the distinction is subtle. Geneticists say the Lindisfarne form of Dune Helleborine is different again, and has even been described as a different species LinkExternal link
The distinction of E. dunensis from the more southern distributed, Narrow-leaved Helleborine (E. leptochila), was also a long topic of botanical debate, and such cryptic variants (although of important conservation value) have been called 'Cinderella species' LinkExternal link
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NZ1265, 105 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Thursday, 15 July, 2010   (more nearby)
Thursday, 15 July, 2010
Wild flowers   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NZ 129 651 [100m precision]
WGS84: 54:58.8581N 1:47.9608W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NZ 129 651
View Direction
West-southwest (about 247 degrees)
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