I found this unusual specimen on 8th July 2019 and the finding of it came as a very nice surprise but at the same time such a strange event! let me try and explain more.
I am up on Hutton Roof (Westmorland/Cumbria) every day during the growth and flowering period of our special Dark Red Helleborine (Epipactis atroruben) searching through the beauties. And on the day in question, I had just been talking to a orchid friend Steve Tandy who was busy checking out some atrorubens further over on the site, and just has I left him to go and check something else, my thoughts started to runaway with themselves and I just happened by chance to think would'nt it be nice if I were to find a branched specimen of atrorubens and thoughts to myself of I have never ever seen such a thing and wondering if at all there had ever been reports of such a oddity, I swear that is absolutely true! and what happened? 100 yards to my East and within minutes of these thoughts I was to find this unique branched specimen!! I still months later struggle to comprehend this and today I am dragging these photos out of the archive in readiness for the blog I have just been invited to do for the Cumbria Wildlife Trust
These photos above are pretty representative of how the colours are of our "normal" Dark Red Helleborines which grow on our carboniferous limestone and yet in the main so different from the ones growing over in County Durham which are far deeper purple colour and grow on Magnesium limestone. Today on Hutton Roof more and more of the "bicolor" variety (see photo below) seem to be taking old. Soon I will do the blog which shows a variety of all what we have had this year (2019).... for now please enjoy the above special beauty..
Epipactis atrorubens var: bicolor
Photo: Hutton Roof 2016