Friday, 4 May 2012

Early flowers on the Loddon flood plain

The middle of the week saw a brief respite from the intermittent rain and I managed to get out to the area around the River Loddon between Basingstoke town centre and Old Basing.  I was delighted to see the sporophytes of Equisetum telmateia in amongst the dead remains of last years grasses.  I had seen the vegetative growth before but never the spore-producing shoots.  Carex flacca was in full flower and Carex paniculata was beginning to flower, with the male flowers just beginning to extend their anthers.  Other nice sightings were Geum rivale (Water Avens) which was in flower alongside the board walk across the damp area and Caltha palustris not far away.  I also photographed Primula veris on the flood plain.  I had delayed on this one because I wanted to have photographs of how this species differed from the primrose in leaf.  These five species took my total to 303, that is just over the quarter of the species in North Hampshire.

Sporophyte of Equisetum telmateia

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