Monday 15 December 2014

Plants of the Pelouse

Here is a selection of photos from an outing to the Grandes Fontaines at Bléré that I went on with the Association de Botanique et de Mycologie de Sainte Maure de Touraine way back in May. The site is a well managed calcareous grassland, so is home to a very particular suite of plants.

Jean Bouton checks out some orchids. Just here there were Monkey Orchid Orchis simia (left bottom corner), Lady Orchid O. purpurea (just to the left of Jean, who is on his knees) and their hybrid O. x angusticruris (to the left of Jean's shoulder).

Bush Vetch Vicia sepium, growing in a wetter area around some springs (it is not really a plant of dry grasslands).

Large grazing animals, in this case these horses, help maintain the grassland and prevent it scrubbing over. (Cue feeble botanist jokes about how rare les chevaux sauvages are in the Touraine...)

Burnt Orchid Neotinea ustulata, a tiny but lovely little orchid that is easy to miss in the grass.

Pyramidal Orchids Anacamptis pyramidalis in the grass. There are hundreds of this pretty pink orchid on the site.

 Amethyst Broomrape Orobanche amethystea, an uncommon parasite of Field Eryngo Eryngium campestre.

Amethyst Broomrape, not yet fully out.

Yellow Rattle Rhinanthus minor, another parasitic plant, often recommended to people who wish to create a wild flower meadow as it reduces the vigour of the grass it parasitises and allows other wild flowers to establish.
A la cuisine hier: Chickpea pancakes, which come in a French version called socca, an Italian version called farinata, but also feature in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. They are gluten free and usually vegan.
Loire Valley Nature: A new entry has been added for White-tailed Skimmer dragonfly Orthetrum albistylum.
Some gorgeous photos have been added to the Bee Orchid Ophrys apifera entry.
A new entry has been added for Blackening Waxcap Hygrocybe conica, a really attractive and common toadstool that is easy to identify.
A photo of a path through the woods has been added to the entry on Walking Trails.
Photos added to the Beautiful Demoiselle damselfly Calopteryx virgo entry, which totally lives up to its name.


Betty Carlson said...

Sainte Maure de Touraine...I remember it well. We used to live in Montbazon...I think Ste Maure was the freeway exit we took at the time if we were driving up from the south.

Susan said...

Betty: I have never got the hang of Ste Maure. I always get lost there.

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