12th April 2021 – A strange kind of beauty

“Mum, can I come?” Words which are always a lovely surprise.

After negotiating a mix of walking and plant-hunting, we set off in warm sun and arrive at the Woodland Trust site near Biggin Hill as it is starting to cloud over.

It rarely happens, but on this occasion the botanical treat was growing right by the gate. A one-sided flowerhead of about a hand’s-width high, each individual flower with a tantalising flush of crimson showing on the lower petal and stickyhairy sepals, and not a brush of green to be seen. You could be forgiven for thinking this was a pale pink orchid without any leaves.

This one’s Toothwort, one of the more attractive flowers in the world of holo- or entirely parasitic plants.

It isn’t long after we find the Toothwort that it starts to snow.

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