Sunday, 28 August 2016

Autumn Lady's-tresses

It seems to be a good year for Autumn Lady's-tresses Spiranthes spiralis. A small population (maximum count of 36 spikes so far) has appeared apparently out of the blue at Swaddywell Pit in VC32, growing in rather open structured grassland with Lesser Centaury Centaurium pulchellum, and close to a number of Common Spotted-orchid Dactylorhiza fuchsii and Southern Marsh-orchid Dactylorhiza praetermissa.

Today I received an email from Jeremy Fraser of the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, who visited the well-known population at Tydd Gote Pumping Station, on the Lincolnshire - Cambridgeshire Border on 24th August. He counted 274 plants in three main areas, which is the highest count in recent years, though somewhat short of the estimated 1000-2000 recorded in 1983. A worker from the pumping station confirmed that the plants had flowered particularly well this year.

The other main population in VC53 was on the drain bank at Surfleet Seas End (TF285302), but there are no records from here since 1997. Perhaps this would be a good year to go and have another look!

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