Saturday, 17 March 2018

Botanical Loose Ends

Here's a rather lengthy round up of all the plants I've photographed last year and haven't gotten around to blogging yet. Many of them appeared on my Twitter account at the time but there are also quite a few that didn't. I think I'll list them in county order as that's how they are saved on my hard drive. I'll keep commentary to a minimum as there are lots to get through. I really must try much harder this year not to let things back up in this way. I may get some of my fungi photos on here one day as well, I have lots of them going back to 2015 now!


This parasitic Dodder was growing in chalk grassland at Broughton Down. I'd only ever seen this on Gorse before but here it was on Lady's Bedstraw.

Dodder - Cuscuta epithymum

This is the rare Green Hound's-tongue. We saw this in (I think) its only site in Hampshire, near Aldershot. The flowers are very similar to Hound's-tongue but the leaves are a much fresher green. We were a little early and most plants were only just starting to flower.

 Green Hound's-tongue - Cynoglossum germanicum

 Hoary Stock - Matthiola incana
This was the best flowering example I could find growing on the chalk cliffs at Bonchurch in the Isle of Wight. We were there looking at Glanville Fritillary and it wasn't the ideal time to see Hoary Stock in flower. Most of the plants had gone to seed but I'd never seen the flowers before so scrambled up a low cliff to get a shot of this 'fine specimen'.

Least Bur-reed - Sparganium natans
 Growing in a New Forest Pond

A lovely stand off Marsh Mallow on the coast at Lepe

Marsh Mallow - Althaea officinalis 

 Pond Water-crowfoot - Ranunculus peltatus
 In a New Forest Pond.

Rampion Bellflower is not a native plant but it is quite rare to find it naturalised. These plants are growing on a roadside verge near Sopley and have done so for many years. It was great to see them as we looked for them last year but they had been mowed off.

 Rampion Bellflower - Campanula rapunculus

Tasteless Water-pepper - Persicaria mitis

We tracked this plant down to a ford by a bridleway at Moortown near Ringwood and when we arrived there we were surprised to find a couple of botanists already photographing it. I can tell you that that doesn't happen very often!

Small Water-pepper - Persicaria minor
 In the New Forest and at Blashford Lakes we found ...

Slender Bird's-foot Trefoil Lotus angustissimus 


Round-headed Rampion - Phyteuma orbiculare
I couldn't resist taking a photo of this, the county flower of Sussex, whilst we were visiting to see the Queen of Spain Fritillary

This is Fly Honeysuckle which is arguably native at this site in Amberley, West Sussex where it has been recorded since 1801.

Fly Honeysuckle - Lonicera xylosteum


A visit to The Lizard in mid June was getting a bit late to see some of our target plants, namely Long-headed Clover and Twin-headed Clover, but was ideal for Thyme Broomrape, and the Thrift Clearwing our other main target species.

Most of the clovers were all dried up but we managed to find a few clumps of Long-headed Clover just about hanging on!

Long-headed Clover Trifolium incarnatum ssp. molinerii

 Scarlet Pimpernel - Anagallis arvensis
In an unusual and beautiful dusky pink.

 Andy spotted this diminutive plant whilst we were climbing over a low wall, I'd have probably walked right past it. Obviously one of the Pepperworts, on closer inspection it turned out to be Smith's Pepperwort. 

Smith's Pepperwort - Lepidium heterophyllum

Quite a few plants of Thyme Broomrape  were at their best and looking rather spectacular, although the scenery helps!

Thyme Broomrape - Orobanche alba


American Blue-eyed Grass - Sisyrinchium montanum
Always a joy to see at Dawlish Warren where it is naturalised.

In the scenic setting of a stagnant pool by a manure heap near Colyton, this is  Oak-leaved Goosefoot. Goosefoots can be difficult to identify but the oak shaped leaves on this one are quite distinctive.

Oak-leaved Goosefoot - Chenopodium glaucum

Irish Spurge just in the Devon side of Exmoor  

Irish Spurge - Euphorbia hyberna

A massive highlight on a local scale was seeing this Salsify on a roadside verge just down the road near Woodbury.

Salsify - Tragopogon porrifolius


Also on Exmoor but just in Somerset this time... 

Large-flowered Butterwort - Pinguicula grandiflora 

We've seen Somerset Skullcap in the Mells Valley a couple of times but never in flower, this time it was only just coming into flower. This is a garden escape which has been naturalised in this location for many years and acquired the name of Somerset Skullcap. In Europe it is known as Tall Skullcap.

Somerset Skullcap - Scutellaria altissima


Narrow-leaved Bird's-foot Trefoil Lotus glaber 
Growing in a gateway on the outskirts of Studland Village.

Nettle-leaved Goosefoot - Chenopodium murale
Growing with other Goosefoots and Nettles on a massive manure heap at St. Aldhelm's Head. Although the leaves are clearly nettle-like this isn't enough to be positive on identification and I had to look at the seeds under a microscope to be sure.

Mudwort growing at Stanpit Marsh. The flowers are tiny but if you can get close enough to see them properly they are quite pretty too. Quite a challenge to photograph so I was very happy with these close ups.

Mudwort - Limosella aquatica

Toothed Medick - Medicago polymorpha
Growing on a wide roadside verge outside some houses on Portland. It has very distinctive toothed stipules. I didn't get very good photos of this so may try and get some better ones this year. 

 Also on Portland was this naturalised Hairy Bindweed which isn't really that hairy at all.
The flowers are amazing though because they really look like they have been painted, you can even see 'brush strokes'!

Hairy Bindweed - Calystegia pulchra

Hound's-tongue - Cynoglossum officinale
 Growing in large swathes on Ballard Down

Marsh Gentian - Gentiana pneumonanthe
Growing in a bog at Studland.
I absolutely love seeing these, one of my all time favourites! I like to visit them every year if I can.


Ian Andrews said...

Another beautiful selection. Thanks.

Sue G said...

Fabulous as always!

World of Animals, Inc said...

These are just amazingly beautiful. Some of these flowers would look great outside of our office. It would brighten anyone's day up really quick. Thanks for sharing the photos of these great looking plants. Have a great day
World of Animals