Ugborough Beacon to Aish

A lovely varied walk around Ugborough Beacon to Three Barrows and back to Moorhaven via Corringdon Ball and Aish.  The grass on the more sheltered eastern face of Ugborough Beacon was full of heath milkwort in colours ranging from ultramarine through white to pink. I checked the bracken above Peek Moor gate to see if…

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. Black medick, with dense pompoms of flowers and a tiny point – mucro – on the tip of each leaf: Lesser trefoil, with looser flower heads: Vetches and clover are part of the…

April on Bittaford Road

Early purple orchids are flowering at the junction near Ash Rosettes. Beautiful, but far fewer than last year. Cow parsley, hogweed, and garlic mustard (Jack-by-the-hedge) are giving the verges some height now. An early specimen of red clover, rather chewed.

April sunshine

The burst of sunshine over the weekend has brought out some new flowers along Bittaford Road, including the first delicate lady’s smock. There was a clump of greater chickweed. It was hard to do it justice with my phone camera but you can see the 10 stamens – each purple blob is a pair – that distinguish it…

Along Bittaford Road

Spring has definitely arrived along the verge. Near the houses, there are bright blue forget-me-nots and carpets of yellow celandines and primroses. Ivy-leaved toadflax on the walls, and cornsalad. On the grassy verge, daisies, primroses, common mouse-ear, greater stitchwort, Alexanders, dog’s mercury, cow parsley, and a rather early greater burnet saxifrage.  Purple and white sweet violets and early dog…

New Year’s Eve

Holly and ivy for Christmas and lots of new growth in the hedgerow, notably cow parsley, goose grass (cleavers), and shining cranesbill. Spotted medick leaves are easier to see now than in summer. New flowers of lesser periwinkle, dog’s mercury, winter heliotrope and pink purslane alongside a few scattered flowers of shining cranesbill, rough chervil, nipplewort,…

the end of May

It’s all change as spring gives way to summer, the bluebells give a final flourish and the bracken unfurls. Campions, buttercups and cow parsley are at their best and pink purslane is still going strong. Look out for garlands of tiny black bryony flowers   You can pick the top few leaves of young stinging…

Things that look like cow parsley, part 2

Cow parsley is almost over and is gradually being superseded by rough chervil. Rough chervil has similar flowers, and bracteoles but no bracts as with cow parsley. Its distinctive characteristics are hairy stems that are often purple – cow parsley stems are smooth and green – and drooping flower buds. Ground elder is dominating the…

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

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…

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…