Wednesday 4 January 2017

New Year Plant Hunt

It's that time again. With heavy rain and an unscheduled trip over to Winchester on New Year's Day my planned hunt had to be postponed. Monday was out of the question as I was at work for almost all of the daylight hours, so Tuesday it was. I woke up to a very heavy ground frost and temperatures in the region of -6 degrees. I wasn't very hopeful of finding much. It has been a lot colder so far this winter and I hadn't been seeing so many flowering plants on my travels around town in the preceding weeks. I certainly didn't expect to get anywhere near my 2016 total of 49 plants in flower, so was pleasantly surprised when the total came in at 42 species!

I only covered two small areas of Sidmouth as 3 hours is not long enough to cover a larger area on my own. One was the area of Peak Hill on the western side of the seafront which always turns up a good selection, and also makes for some scenic photos. The other area being the estate where I live on the northern fringes of the town.

Here are a few photos of some of the more photogenic species, some were in rather bad shape so I spared them the embarrassment of plastering their photos on the internet.. I'm all heart! You can see my whole list and those of everyone else by visiting the BSBI New Year Plant Hunt results page  
Mine is the only one in Sidmouth, called somewhat cryptically, W's list because I ***** up entering my name.

Thrift - Armeria maritima

Red Valerian - Centhranthus ruber

 Smooth Sow-thistle - Sonchus oleraceus

Ivy - Hedera helix 

Black Mustard - Brassica nigra 

Wild Carrot - Daucus carota

Yarrow - Achillia millefolium

Rock Samphire - Crithmum maritimum

Silver Ragwort - Senicio cineraria

Shepherd's Purse - Capsella bursa-pastoris

Winter Heliotrope - Petasites fragrans 

Conyza sp. 

I think this is Guernsey Fleabane - Conyza sumatrensis but they are a very difficult group to identify and I hadn't time to examine a sample at home. The 'jizz' says Gurnesey Fleabane but it may not be so I recorded it as Conyza sp.

 Nettle - Urtica dioica

Red Campion - Silene dioica 

A poor year for these, the last two years I saw quite a lot of these in flower, just this single flower this year. Obviously doesn't stand up very well to frosts.

 Red Clover - trifolium pratense 

Thyme-leaved Speedwell - Veronica serphyllifolia

Snapdragon - Antirrhinum majus

Common Chickweed - Stellaria media 

Hazel - Coylus avellana
Female flowers

And male flowers.
Look really closely at the top right of the catkins and you can see the female flower. They are tiny!

Common Knapweed - Centaurea nigra 

At the bus stop which featured in last years photo of Common Centaury

Common Centaury - Centaurium erythraea
Still just about flowering this year but not looking at its best.

And that's about it, except to say Happy New Year to my readers and to yet again promise to get more content on here soon!

1 comment:

Non League/Nature Punker said...

Good stuff indeedy. The New Year is a special time for the keen naturalist - everything new and there to be found. Alas I was too busy looking at birds and fungi so didn't see many flowers - will be looking soon though!