Wednesday 13 August 2014

A Bit of Botanizing on Colyford Common and Heath Lobelia

A couple of weeks back I spent a pleasant couple of hours down on Colyford Common looking at the interesting plant-life.

This is the flower of Strawberry Clover - Trifolium fragiferum
 It gets its name because when the flowers have finished the sepals become inflated, so that the seed-head resembles a dull pink, papery strawberry.

Some pinker than others!

Common Hemp-nettle - Galeopsis tetrahit

The small flowers are very attractive up close

The orange flower in the background is Orange Balsam - Impatiens capensis
A native of North America and not quite as invasive as Himalyan Balsam. It is also known as Orange Jewelweed and close up you can see why.

A very exotic looking flower.

Another invasive species, this time from the southern hemisphere (South Africa I think?) is this 
Buttonweed - Cotula Coronopifolia.
There are a few small clumps on the Colyford Common saltmarshes but over the tramlines on Colyford Marsh it's really running amuck. In fact it's totally covered at least half of the large scrape, which isn't good because it means the birds are even further away!

More Buttonweed with Lesser Sea-spurrey - Spergularia marina

Lesser Sea-spurrey

Very similar flower but with petals and sepals more equal in size is
Greater Sea Spurrey - Spergularia media.

 Wild Celery - Apium graveolens

 Thrift Armeria maritima

 Sea Aster - Aster tripolium

Sea Plantain - Plantago maritima

 Sea Arrowgrass - Triglochin maritima

Close up of the tiny flowers.

This weekend I popped over to the Kilmington area to check on the Heath Lobelia colony. There was a good show of plants but in the windy conditions I struggled to get any good close photos seeing as the plants are on private land and I have to take photos from some distance away. Still it's great to see this rare plant in the location where it was first discovered in the UK.

Heath Lobelia - Lobelia urens

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