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Spiranthes aestivalis (12857)

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Mike d'Apice

Joined: 09 Sep 2009
Posts: 693

PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:55 am    Post subject: Spiranthes aestivalis (12857) Reply with quote


In case Dave Price's notes on this specimen and recommendation that the sheet receive a closer inspection, is missed in the Message Board Herbarium Sheet Discussions, I've copied it here:

V S Summerhayes in 'Wild Orchids of Britain' (1951) says "Apart from Jersey & Guernsey [this sp.] is known only from the New Forest in Hants". It is now extinct in mainland Britain.

Summerhayes continues "The species was thought to have been discovered in a bog in the Forest of Wyre in Worcestershire as long ago as 1854. A single specimen only was said to have been found, subsequent search .... failing to yield any further plants. Luckily the solitary specimen was preserved .... though it has remained overlooked for many years. Examination shows that the specimen is not a Spiranthes at all, but an abnormal individual of ..... Gymnadenia conopsea ....

The present specimen is therefore important. It seems not to be the specimen referred to by Summerhayes. It looks to me like a Spiranthes and, indeed, more like S. aestivalis than S. spiralis (see photographs in Summerhayes's book).

It is the only Jordan (sensu lato) plant among the Lees collection on H@H. There were several Jordans collecting in 1849 and a specimen of Sorbus domestica was gathered in 1849 [sic - but why? no date on label] in Wyre Forest by "Geo. Jordan", given to Miss Puckie who gave it to Langley Kitching.

This specimen warrants closer inspection.
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