Sunday 13 June 2021

Yellow Vetchling Leopard Orchid?

Yellow Vetchling - fantastic to see this along Seaton seafront this morning. Apparently not recorded in Devon for 41 years! Many thanks for the tip-off Roger and Liz! With the kids both working, Lu and I enjoyed a lovely morning, walking from Seaton to Culverhole Point. The weather was incredible and the scenery breathtaking, if you ignored the saggy nudists sprawled out along the way!

Looking back along Seaton Beach, across to Beer Head, from Haven Cliffs.

It was wonderful to see this massive patch of Sea Kale - it's in its prime at the moment.

Spear-leaved Orache.

Culverhole Point - a long trudge, negotiating a nudist beach, to reach this unusual and beautiful spot, where the cliff has slipped towards the sea - home to a wealth of orchids and butterflies.

This wet area at Culverhole Point was amazing - masses of Wood Whites, Common Blues and Dingy Skippers, along with Southern Marsh and Bee Orchids. No luck with Marsh Fragrant Orchids today but possibly just a bit too early.

Southern Marsh Orchid.

Wood White. These were seen in good numbers at Culverhole and again at Haven Cliffs.

A lone Viper's Bugloss.

Ivy Broomrape.

This Southern Marsh Orchid immediately drew attention with its heavily-spotted leaves. Could it be an example of Leopard Orchid Dactylorhiza praetermissa var. junialis ?


  1. Great find with the Yellow Vetchling!

    I was also looking at Sea Kale on Saturday when I went down to Rye Harbour. Lots of great coastal plants including Sea Pea, Yellow-horned Poppy, Thrift, Sea Campion, etc plus lots of colour from mats of Ivy-leaved Toadflax, Red Valerian, Viper's Bugloss. Mouse-ear Hawkweed, etc.

  2. Sounds great - I've never seen Sea Pea but think it occurs not too far along the coast in Dorset. Any ideas about the orchid? Guessing that ruling out Southern Marsh x Common Spotted is an issue? All the best. Matt

  3. Dactylorhizas are a bit of a minefield, but you may be right?

  4. Thanks Neil - am planning to go back to look for Marsh Fragrants so will look more carefully next time. Matt