On Skye on Wednesday I noticed two orchid hybrids, one of which I took to be Dactylorhiza incarnata pulcella (Early Marsh-orchid) x Gymnadenia borealis (Heath Fragrant-orchid):

X Dactylodenia

It does not have much in the way of Gymnadenia floral characteristics but it smells strongly of that orchid.  However, I see that there is only one accepted record of this hybrid in the British Isles. It was surrounded by  Dactylorhiza incarnata pulcella (the pale form) half its size and very close to several Gymnadenia borealis
The other seemed to be D. maculata (Heath Spotted-orchid) x D. incarnata, which is more widely found.
Back on Raasay I spotted a plant next to Polystichum lonchitis (Holly-fern) and P. aculeatum (Hard Shield-fern) that seemed satisfyingly intermediate, suggesting the hybrid P. x illyricum. An initial response from Chris Page is positive but further work is needed to be sure.

Polystichum x illyricum?

This is pretty rare with the current BSBI map showing no record since before 2000 and a total of nine 10km square records in which it has ever been recorded.

One Response to “Hybrids”

  1. Erwin Gruber Says:

    For sure this may be the hybrid Polystichum × illyricum (with blank in front of hybrid name as useful).
    As you will know we may not exclude young P. aculeatum, so you will have to wait on spores to get certainty.

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