Coral-root and it's freaky little purple bulbils

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Sunday 9 May 2010 20:28

Today Oli and I went into the north east of Sussex in search of Coral-root. It took a bit of searching for but plenty of plants were spotted from the car on the road north out of Mayfield. It's very easy to tell from Cuckoo-flower, even at 30 mph! The flowers are a deeper pink with the petals a little longer. The plant is much taller with very different leaves, the whole plant droops over to one side too. The most striking feature however are the freaky little purplish bulbils in the leaf axils. Without these weird little blobs the plant is almost showy enough to look like a garden escape but these ugly additions bring it back down to Earth and make this a top plant. The road verge was quite rich with Yellow Archangel and Sweet Woodruff. After this we left for Beachy Head in search of Early Spider Orchids which will feature in the second part of this blog tomorrow as I am too knackered to write anymore!

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