Sunday, June 03, 2012

Epipactis helleborine in Vernegues, France

Epipactis helleborine, growing alongside the road in Vernegues, France. I was literally lying along the side of the road to get this shot, hoping that nobody would roll me over (I was wearing blue after all). As it was a cloudy day, this was taken with a flash. These are one of the more common wild orchids in the Mediterranean region; however, they come in all sorts of variations. The color varies from green and white to nearly red. They also vary from quite cuppy to nearly flat. The leaves vary from heart shaped to more lanceolate. The blooming plants also vary in height from about 2 inches tall to about 2 feet tall. It's a lot of fun to see all the genetic variation and luckily for me, they bloom in late May. The ones closer to the road, i.e. those getting more sun, tend to bloom sooner.

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