Thursday, 19 March 2009

Orchids above Alhama de Granada, Granada Province.

Orchis Collina var flavescens.

Fan-lipped Orchid (Orchis collina var flavescens).
Armed with directions from John Wainwright, Jayne and myself headed off towards Alhama and on to a track on the opposite side of the gorge from the town, where we quickly found several spikes of Fan-lipped Orchid (Orchis collina). All except two spikes were of the usual pink variety, the two other spikes were white, edged green, a named variety called flavescens. According to Flora Iberica it is recorded in the Provinces of Albacete, Almería and Murcia, Granada can now be added to that list.

Fan-lipped Orchid (Orchis collina var flavescens).
I have once before seen this variety, a single plant flowered on the Northern slopes of Sierra de Loja back in 2007. On the opposite side of the track there was the most fantastic show of Grape Hyacinths (Muscari neglectum). Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura) and Blue Rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius) were both heard singing down in the gorge and a Bonelli's Eagle (Aguilla-azor Perdicera / Hieraaetus fasciatus) passed over head.

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