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Friday, 29 July 2011

Yellow Birds Nest

This plant was seen near Todmorden by Michael Sykes.

1 comment:

Steve Blacksmith said...

This is a really exciting find for us plant enthusiasts. Portia and Brian of Pexwood first reported this site near Todmorden railway station a few years ago.

Before that, there was only one other site known in Calderdale, right down the other end of Calderdale at Cromwell Bottom Local Nature Reserve.

Just this month another site has been found by Mike Henshaw a few hundred yards from the first.

There are no previous records for Calderdale,(Murgatroyd 1995) and only one in the G.Wilmore's West Yorkshire Plant Atlas. (At Bramham Park Woods.)

It is interesting in that it is a saprophyte, living simply on decaying vegetable matter without producing energy from the sun. It has no green chlorophyll to do this.

In this respect it is the same as the birds-nest orchid, which is a true orchid.

The plant in the picture, Monotropa, is put in its own family, but is thought to be related to the heaths (Ericacae).

Maybe our woods are maturing to just the right stage for it to colonise, and it will start appearing in other places.