Bird’s-nest Orchid and Hybrid Thistle

Today before tetrad-bashing in the under-recorded 10km square NG34, I checked a couple of things in the Portnalong/Fernilea area.  On Saturday Philip Samsun sent me a record of Neottia nidus-avis (Bird’s-nest Orchid) from the same tetrad as one recorded in 1987.  I had tried to find it in 2006 but failed.  Philip, having read my flora of Raasay & Rona was aware that this orchid is rare in this area and so sent me photos of the desiccated fruiting spikes he had found the October before last.  As it is the right time of year, I went to look for them in flower today and found twelve flowering spikes plus some old fruiting spikes:

Bird's-nest Orchid on Skye June 2009

Bird's-nest Orchid on Skye June 2009

I then went on to have another look at the putative Cirsium x wankelii (C. heterophyllum (Melancholy Thistle) x C. palustre (Marsh Thistle)) that I found on 12 May.  It looks pretty convincing to me – big, 6 capitula of which three are now well down the main stem in leaf axils and pinnatifid leaves – but I had better get an expert opinion.

Cirsium x wankelii (?) on Skye

Cirsium x wankelii (?) on Skye

The tetrad-bashing proved quite pleasing too with Carex canescens (White Sedge) and a fine river gorge

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