On Sunday 16 June the Association de Botanique et de Mycologie de Sainte-Maure-de-Touraine sallied forth from l'Ile Bouchard to a limestone ridge just outside the picturesque village of Panzoult. The main drawcard was the magnificent display of the rare and protected orchid Red Helleborine Cephalanthera rubra that one can expect at this site in the middle of June. They did not disappoint, but the site has a wealth of other rare and protected plants too, and I saw several species new to me. Sadly we did not have the opportunity to visit the dovecotes in the area, which are apparently outstanding (although I am told not in very good condition).
I took a great many pictures on the outing and really struggled to choose just a few highlights for this blog post. Almost everything I photographed was another highlight! Adding to our enjoyment of the day was the warm sunny weather -- a real rarity so far this year.
this one in our orchard. These hypochromatic individuals have a mutation which means they lack (or are very low in) all except a yellow pigment. There were at least two of these in the grass at Panzoult. Bee Orchids are very prone to mutations, which I presume is a by-product of the fact that they frequently self-pollinate rather than rely on insect cross-pollination services.