Last Wednesday I went for my usual afternoon walk with my friend Lucienne.
We walked along the rigole d'Hilvern .
As we passed a particularly damp boggy piece of land we saw these incredible flowers.
Never in my life had I seen anything like them.
What were they ?
On Saturday on our way back from the market Mr P and I stopped so I could take him to see the strange flowers, this time I had my camera with me.
Maggie Campbell-Culver. FLS
She was sure to know I thought and if not she'd know who to ask.
Sure enough this morning I had my answer, via Maggie, from Dr Jill Walker of Oxford BG.
So here it is, rarely found in Britain : -
Lathraea clandestina it is commonly known as Purple Toothwort . It is a protocarnivorous plant (all the seven or eight species are) that will trap and eat insects. It is a parasite on the roots of trees, mainly alder, poplar, or willow but always damp.
I think it is wonderful and I'm so excited to have seen it.