Weeds

In the garden, a tiny specimen of common ramping fumitory, some lady’s smock and yellow rattle that we planted to kick-start a wild flower patch by parasitising the lawn. There are five species of speedwell: germander, wall, thyme-leaved, ivy-leaved, and slender speedwell. Other flowers thrive through lack of weeding rather than by design. Common cow-wheat in woods in South Brent Advertisements

Things that look a bit like cow parsley

The hedgerows are full of cow parsley at the moment. Rough chervil and upright hedge parsley are similar but they flower in succession, after cow parsley. Cow parsley has soft, fern-like leaves, small bracteoles but no bracts. Leigh Lane, just off Wrangaton road between Moorhaven and Green Lane, is a good place to spot umbellifers. Pignut…

At White Oxen

Mum and Dad have beautiful wildflower meadows with a variety of flowers that enjoy wet grassland, including bog stitchwort and ragged robin. Bugle grows among the grasses, along with what I believe is a white-flowered form

Dartmoor and the coast

 I was excited to see a small patch of marsh violets a month ago near Piles Copse. Now they seem to be on the bank of every stream and ditch on the moor. I don’t remember seeing such a display before.       Tiny but distinctive pink flowers of lousewort are showing through the grass, with the ubiquitous…

mid-May sunshine

Greater celandine has appeared this month, a relative of the Welsh poppy and not of lesser celandine. It is named after the Greek ‘chelidon’ or swallow, as it flowers when the swallows arrive. The bright orange sap is said to cure warts and for this reason, greater celandine was often planted around the walls and gateways of houses, where indeed it is still…

Elsewhere in April

Elsewhere in the past couple of weeks, some interesting tiny coastal plants under the viaduct in Bittaford: common scurvygrass (heart-shaped leaves, distinctive spherical seed pods; once used by sailors to prevent scurvy) and Danish scurvygrass (ivy-shaped leaves) come inland where roads are salted. My phone wasn’t quite up to photography on this miniature scale. Thale cress was growing in…

Last day of April

I spent some time wondering what this was and ended up going back to have another look, book and lens in hand. It is greater chickweed, with downward pointing buds and seed capsules, 8-10 stamens, and oval, opposite leaves. Common chickweed and lesser stitchwort have similar flowers but 8 or fewer stamens and long, narrow…