Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Lovely display of Symphytum x hidcotense

On the way through Old Basing stopped off for a few minutes on Newnham Lane as it passes close to the River Loddon.  Found a lovely display of the comfrey variety Symphytum x hidcotense growing on the flood plain.  The red flower buds contrast beautifully with the pale blue to white petals of the opened flowers.  In the same area were Malus sylvestris and Salix viminalis in flower which I'd recorded in leaf before.  

Total 511

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Common plants that have passed me by

It is strange that some plants that are really common get missed.  I've been interested in the local flora for a long time and yet I'm still seeing plants for the first time that I really should have seen had I been more observant.  A recent example of this is Erophila verna, the Common Whitlow Grass.  It is found throughout Hampshire and yet I have never knowingly seen it.  It gets its name from reputed healing properties of whitlows (an infection on the fingers).  Since seeing it on the kerbside near the Brighton Hill shopping centre, Basingstoke, I have seen it at Silchester, Odiham and Ellisfield.  It is very easy to identify with its basal whorl of leaves from which the completely leafless flower stalks arise.  The four petals are deeply divided giving the impression that it has eight petals.  Similar species have leaves on the flowering stems.

A brief visit to the Roman walls at Silchester yielded a second common species that I'd not seen before, the Field Forget-me-not, Myosotis arvensis.  

My list now stands at 507 which is just under 42%.

Erophila verna at Brighton Hill