Clovers and more

Red clover is prolific but there are also some big clumps of the less common zigzag clover growing between Moorhaven and Green Lane, and also along Bittaford Road. Zigzag clover flowers are looser and larger, and always a deep dark pink. They stand away from the leaves, on stalks about a centimetre long. Where the leaves meet the stem, there are small pointed, hairy stipules. The leaves are longer than red clover leaves. Red clover flowers vary widely in colour, from pale pink to reddish. A defining feature is that the stipules have a long bristle at the tip.

Red clover:

Zigzag clover:


Two other lookalikes are the very common white clover and less common alsike clover. White clover has marked white triangles on the leaves and the white flowers turn brownish as they age. Alsike clover rarely has white markings on the leaves and the flowers turn pink as they age. The picture on the left shows white clover. The one on the right, photographed near Derriford, may be alsike clover but I’m not convinced.


Other species of interest along Bittaford Road this month are field scabious (in the station carpark), stinking iris, a pink and white striped form of hedge bindweed and the much smaller field bindweed.

Tall spikes of agrimony and bristly ox-tongue,

and buttercups and daisies:

Also ox-eye daisy, yellow rattle, white stonecrop, and common ramping fumitory that looks too delicate to be growing through a pavement crack.

Around Derriford, creeping thistle, naturalised fox-and-cubs, great willowherb and musk mallow.

creeping thistle
creeping thistle
fox and cubs
fox and cubs
Great willowherb
great willowherb
musk mallow
musk mallow

Ribbed melilot at the Rec in South Brentribbed melilot


Coming down to Aish from Corringdon Ball, some trailing St John’s wort in a field, rock stonecrop on a wall – possibly a garden escape as the native plant is scarce – and lesser stitchwort. Plus some nice beetles.

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