Butterfly-orchid Hybrid

Terry Swainbank has been into the herbarium at the University of Oxford and compared what he had determined as Platanthera x hybrida (P. chlorantha x bifolia) from his croft with a specimen from Sligachan taken by George Claridge Druce in 1909.

This experience has confirmed his determination.

Hybrid Butterfly Orchid

Hybrid Butterfly-orchid at Ard Dorch 2015         Photo: T Swainbank

Druce said of his plant: “….differing from bifolia by its longer spur and its pollen lobes being slightly divaricate; from virescens by its colour and shape of sepals and spurs – on the whole nearer bifolia.”

Oxford Herb Plat x hyb

Druce specimen                 University of Oxford Herbarium


There is no record for the hybrid in the BSBI Distribution Database for VC104.Indeed, there are only four records from Scotland, the latest in 1995. Druce’s become the earliest and Terry’s the only one so far this century.

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