Thursday, 5 May 2016

Wildflowers, Not All, But Mostly.

A bit of a catch up post from the last couple of weeks. It's a long one! I've had a week off work so have been out a bit more than usual. The weather was mainly horrible and I didn't get to see as many butterflies as I'd hoped, but having said that I've seen a total of 19 species so far this year, which isn't bad considering the cool weather. I've seen lots of new plants though mostly in Dorset and Hampshire again. Who'd have thought I actually live in Devon! Some of these plants aren't new ones but warranted a photo I think.

Early Spider Orchid - Ophrys sphegodes

It wouldn't be right to visit Purbeck at this time of year and not take a photo of one of these. They were just about finished having been flowering for about a month.This one was on the Townsend Reserve in Swanage, Ballard Down in the background.

Cowslip - Primula veris

We revisited a site to the north of the New Forest to see how the Mousetail was coming on as just a couple of plants were in flower on our last visit. There were now hundreds of pants in flower. They are small and inconspicuous, looking rather like short tuft until you look closely and see the small pale green petals.

Mousetail - Myosurus minimus

Also in the New Forest:

 Narrow-leaved Lungwort - Pulmonaria longifolia

And with Bee Fly - Bombylius major

Pond Water-crowfoot - Ranunculus peltatus

New Forest Water-crowfoot Ranunculus x novae-forestae 
A hybrid of Three-lobed Crowfoot and Round-leaved Crowfoot.
Further north in Hampshire near Micheledever we saw a lovely display of the earliest flowering of the yellow Cinquefoils.

Spring Cinquefoil - Potentilla tabernaemontani

In the Purbeck area of Dorset: 

Neapolitan Garlic - Allium neapolitanum 

 Blinks - Montia fontana

Chalk Milkwort - Polygala calcarea 

Bird's-foot Clover - Trifolium ornithopodioides 

Adder's-tongue Fern - Ophioglossum vulgatum

Ivy-leaved Crowfoot - Ranunculus hederaceus 

 Parsley Piert - Aphanes arvensis

Slender Parsley Piert Aphanes microcarpa 
growing along with Mossy Stonecrop - Crassula tillaea

Slender Parsley Piert and Southern Wood Ant 

Wavy Bittercress - Cardamine flexuosa

Small-flowered Buttercup - Ranunculus parviflorus

Bitter Vetch (Heath Pea) - Lathyrus linifolius  

English Scurvygrass Cochlearia anglica

  Palmate Newt - Lissotriton helveticus

Hairy-footed Flower Bee - Anthophora plumipes

 Dingy Skipper - Erynnis tages

And from Portland:

Annual Wall-rocket - Diplotaxis muralis

Interestingly this plant is called Stinkweed but doesn't smell bad to me. It just smells like Rocket.
 Here's a description from the excellent website

Warning: Don't try it. It's other common name is Stinkweed and you'll know why if you crush a leaf and take an deep sniff. I find that most people on whom I inflict this experience respond with the word Bleeeaaerrgh! often followed by expletives and accusations of attempted poisoning. It has a nauseously disgusting smell much worse than Stachys sylvatica for instance. The smell is useful for identification as only plants of this family smell like this but none quite so bad as Diplotaxis muralis.

I find Stachys sylvatica (Hedge Woundwort) the worst smelling plant there is. I've certainly not smelt one worse although Limestone Woundwort would be a close second. It just goes to show how each of us have a very different sense of smell and taste too. Salad Burnet  (Sanguisorba minor) is said to taste of cucumber but to me it has no flavour whatsoever, just nothing. Weird!

Danish Scurvygrass - Cochlearia danica

 Thought it was about time I photographed this very common little plant has I've only seen about ten million of them this year! If you're not familiar with Danish Scurvygrass it's the one you can see along the sides and central reservations of all roads throughout early spring looking like a covering of snow.

 Sea Pearlwort - Sagina maritima

Rue-leaved Saxifrage - Saxifraga tridactylites

I've only seen this flower as individuals or small groups before but here it was in a dense carpet. 

Speckled Wood - Pararge aegeria

 Small Blue - Cupido minimus

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