Over the Easter weekend I came across a plant that has so far remained unidentified, despite my photographs being viewed by talented amateurs and one educated professional. Can anyone help?
The plant is lying on a shaded bank in a deciduous woodland in Shropshire. The flowers were past their best, probably by a week or so, and I estimate they would have first flowered in very early April. The location is definitely "off piste" and may well have been undisturbed for decades.
The green leaves surrounding the flowers are found all across the bank, but do not seem to be directly associated with the flowers.
If you look closely at the first image, there is a single stem in the centre that shows the stalk, also pink, coming straight out of the soil with no apparent leaves.
This second picture shows the whole "clump" and its general location on the bank:
I have several other pictures.
Thank you in advance for any help.
I am not familiar with this particular flower but suspect its a Broomrape Orobanchaceae a parasite on the roots of other plants hence no leaves
Thanks for the impressively fast response. The notion that it may be a parasite makes sense: it somehow had that slightly "creepy" ambiance! Are there any "tells" that I could use to positively identify it?
As an aside, though linked to the species in question here...
There is a paper in the BSBI's New Journal of Botany, April 2014 (Vol.4 No.1), pp.42-46
by J. D. Armitage (RHS Wisley),
entitled 'Discussion of the challenges associated with recognising infra-specific variation in a heirarchical system of classifiction, illustrated using two colour forms of Lathraea clandestina'
That particular species is a British alien, but it demonstrates variation in colour. Aberrant colour of any plant species can be misleading when it comes to making IDs. And determining an appropriate name (probably a botanical forma epithet or horticultural group or cultivar name) can be tricky. So in many cases, I would advise being content with an ID to species level.