Peas, hawksbeard and mutant plantains

Many relatives of the pea are flowering now. At Ivybridge station there are two sorts of medick, spotted medick, black medick, and lesser trefoil.

spotted medick 2
spotted medick

Black medick, with dense pompoms of flowers and a tiny point – mucro – on the tip of each leaf:

Lesser trefoil, with looser flower heads:

lesser trefoil
lesser trefoil

Vetches and clover are part of the same family.

Common vetch:

Bush vetch:

bush vetch
bush vetch

Red clover:

red clover
red clover

Also in the station car park are two yellow daisies, catsear with its furry basal leaves and tiny black bristles on the bracts, and beaked hawksbeard with an inner row of hairy bracts and an outer row of shorter, spreading bracts.

beaked hawksbeard
beaked hawksbeard

A lot of ribwort plantains are flowering in the verge along Bittaford Road and a few have developmental abnormalities:

ribwort plantain
mutant ribwort plantain

There are two other interesting flowers: cut-leaved cranesbill with its finely divided leaves, and greater celandine, which I don’t recall seeing on this verge before. It is a relative of poppies, introduced by the Romans and often grown near houses as a convenient wart treatment and purgative.

Also near the station and along Bittaford Road are yarrow, wood avens, ox-eye daisies, hawthorn, elder, germander speedwell, and common sorrel.

Cow parsley and buttercups dominate the verge.

Bittaford Road looking east

I don’t usually record flowers on the bank by Jubilee Hall because I assume they are grown from a pack of wildflower seeds but I noticed two interesting ones on the way to vote last Thursday. Hairy tare is another member of the pea family – a vetch with tiny white flowers and delicate leaves. Corncockle is considered extinct in the wild in Britain but lives on as a common constituent of wildflower seed mixes. It was a common arable weed that declined when seed sorting machines got better at separating its seeds from corn.

Some double-flowered lady’s smock in the lawn

lady's smock
lady’s smock

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