Hypopitys monotropa

Oxfordshire Flora Group


Hypopitys monotropa, Yellow Bird’s-nest

Hypopitys monotropa is, confusingly, sometimes referred to as Monotropa hypopitys.

Photo by Peter Creed

It is known to occur at Natural England’s Aston Rowant NNR, last recorded in 2015. It has not been found on subsequent visits to the site. The site is a chalky bank underneath beech in the deep shade of mature deciduous trees, mostly Beech (Fagus sylvatica), with a large neighbouring colony of White Helleborines (Cephalanthera damasonium) and a number of Dog’s Mercury plants (Mercurialis perennis) nearby. The species is parasitic on mychorrhizal fungi and can remain living underground for many years, so we hope it will reappear when the conditions are suitable. It seems that it does not come up in years when there has been a dry spring.

It has another site in Wytham Woods where it seems to appear more regularly.