Epipactistour durch die Rhön

e_microphylla Epipactis microphylla

Am Wochenende war es dann doch soweit. Die verschobene Rhöntour fand endlich statt. Brüllend heißes Juliwetter ohne Wolken versprach schwierige Fotobedingungen im Wald. Ich mag die hohen Kontraste auch wirklich garnicht. Ich bin auch kein Fan von Blitzeinsatz.Dennoch sind wieder einige brauchbare Fotos herausgekommen. Nicht mehr, aber auch nicht weniger. Bei den Epipactis microphylla hätte ich gerne noch ein bisschen mehr Zeit verbracht.

Wieder ein erfolgreicher, aber anstrengender Tag. 4 Epipactisarten haben wir gesucht und gefunden. Epipactis leptochila (var altensteiniana), Epipactis microphylla, Epipactis muelleri und Epipactis purpurata.Erfreulich, dass es dieses  Jahr wieder mehr Individuen gibt. Auch für diese Gattung ein wirklich gutes Jahr.

Als Zugabe diesmal C. rubra, die auch teilweise noch Blüten hat.

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3 Gedanken zu „Epipactistour durch die Rhön

  1. Another fine post. I am intrigued by the different Epipactis species. Are they difficult to tell apart? I find it difficult to distinguish them in the pictures. Amazing how similar they all are, at least to my eye and how different they are from our single native species, E. gigantea, which is so much more colorful.

    The Cephalanthera seems very strange to me since our only species is mycotrophic and bone white. Would be nice to see some of the European species for a change. Ours is long finished blooming now also.

    • Well… the Epipactis species are indeed kind of hard to distinguish.
      If you do not look at the flowers some species are indeed almost impossible for me to tell apart.
      Epipactis muelleri has long, narrow leaves, that have a wavy edge. The flowers look very characteristic tho. They have that open passage to the lip.
      Epipactis leptochila as a narrow lip with a pointy end.
      Epipactis peitzii looks close to leptochila, but the flower is marginally different and also it blooms later. It only grows in one place in Germany… which also makes it easier. 😉
      Epipactis atrorubens has small reddish flowers and is easy to tell apart and has a very characteristic habit. Smells like vanilla.
      Epipactis microphylla is tiny and has almost no leaves. Is easy to tell.
      Epipactis purpurata has small leaves and looks green/brown/reddish. Hard to describe, but easy to recognize.
      Epipactis palustris has leaves that kinda resemble those of gigantea. It also has a VERY different habit to the other german species. Grows in swamps too and is very easy to distinguish.
      Epipactis helleborine is VERY diverse, depending on where it stands.

      There are more… but I cannot think of them right now.

      All in all it is a very hard genus. I do have trouble identifying the species at times, but my real cryptonite is the Dactylorhiza genus.

      I tried finding E. gigantea in Death Valley, where it is supposed to bloom in two locations, but did not manage to find it, because I was time restricted and not knowing the exact location. I only knew: by the west entrance and in Ash meadows. Maybe was the wrong time too.

      As for Cephalanthera: I can show you all three german native species. However: C.longifolia blooms from early to mid may, C.damasonium blooms a week later, and C. rubra blooms early June. These dates vary of course depending on the height. To me also it would be such a treat to get to see the „Phantom“ C.austinae.

      • It is amazing to me not that we have one Epipactis and you have so many, but that we have only one, and the same is true for Cephalanthera and I suppose even for Amerorchis. I know, though, that E. gigantea does bloom in Death Valley. I have a friend who has photographed it there. I would guess it blooms considerably earlier than here, though. The location where we will be seeing it tomorrow is so close to a lakeside that we have to stand in the water to photograph it – well-named the Stream Orchid.

        Thanks for the description of the different Epipactis species, too. Would love to see them all as well as the Cephalantheras. Maybe someday.

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