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By Jomau

Hampshire, United Kingdom Gb

Can anyone identify this plant for me? Growing in chalky soil from May to Aug.

P6170752 P6170749



Bit hard to see clearly, but it could be a Man Orchid, time and place and soil are right for it. Acera anthropophorum.

17 Jul, 2010


Looks unusual Jomau! Can you post another photo later on to update us?

17 Jul, 2010


also wondered about birds nest orchid. but that prefers more coniferous woodland. sem parasitic and the 'correct' colour. await with interest.

17 Jul, 2010


Could also be Monotropa which is a hemi-parasite (formerly thought to be a saprophyte) from the Heather family (Ericaceae). It can grow in acid Pine woods or in calcareous Beech and Hazel woods.

Like the Orchidaceae family, the Ericaceae have an intimate relationship with fungi and a few from each family have become parasites upon the fungi that they formerly lived in association with. Although unrelated to each other, their lifestyles have produced similar looking organisms. Members from both groups no longer need chlorophyll and can live in deep shade. The leaves of both groups have become reduced to protective scales. An excellent example of convergent evolution.

The colouring and many scales up the stem suggest Monotropa rather than the Orchids but still not absolutely sure yet. As said, will have to wait and see :-)......

17 Jul, 2010


Thanks, will get a later photo a.s.a.p. At the mo, the man orchid sounds likely. I have been told that it is a vary rare orchid that only grows in churchyards and under lime trees? which is where this one is. I always thought orchids were beautiful flowers. Will look it over more closely.

17 Jul, 2010


The more I look at pictures of the Orchids, the more I think it's maybe one of them. The Monotropa is more nodding....

17 Jul, 2010


Could also be a Broomrape (Orobanche). These are parasitic members of the Foxglove family (Scrophularaceae) and parasatise other flowering plants. Some species attach to the roots of woody plants and other species to the roots of herbaceous plants.

They look superficially similar to the hemi-parasites of the Orchid and Erica families because of their lack of chlorophyll and scale like foliage up a fleshy stalk.

The yellow colouring is very distinctive in this photo and may serve as an indicator to the exact species if it turns out to be one of these.

18 Jul, 2010


I can see Ivy in this picture, look at the second species down on this site!

18 Jul, 2010


Thanks for the advice. At the mo I tend to go for the Man Orchid or Monotropa.
Just to fill in the details. It is growing around graves that have been there for 100 yrs plus. They are under a tree clad in Ivy and are nowhere else in the churchyard. The area should to have a large concrete base nearby and this was removed 3yrs ago. It was after this that they appeared. It is possible, some soil fro under the base was spread there, but only a possibilty. They are at their end now and are brown and crispy to the touch, but a new one has appeared. There are never any flowers and they still remind me of Asparagus when first appear.Pics to follow (I hope)

19 Jul, 2010

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