Saturday, 9 June 2012

Slender Bedstraw at Porton Down

The Slender Bedstraw (Galium pumilum) was probably the rarest plant nationally speaking that we saw on the visit.  It looks little different from other white bedstraws, but the tooth structure of the leaf is different, being toothed only towards the tapering base, and these teeth curving towards the base of the leaf.  It has recently turned up at a second chalk downland site in North Hampshire.  My illustration shows the UK distribution and two of my photos one of the leaf and the other of the plant at Porton Down. 

I was again surprised this morning at what one can find within walking distance of one's house.  On the verge of a residential street in Basingstoke I found a spike of the Lesser Broomrape (Orobanche minor) and the Ratstail Fescue (Vulpia myuros) both of which were new species to me.

                                              Orobanche minor (Lesser Broomrape)

Total species 1202
Found and photographed 385 (32%) - just 16 more species to one third

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