Close up

At a first glance, you might think plants were all dying back now but looking closely there are many flowers still among the seed-heads. Here are some from the verge between Ivybridge station and Bittaford. Advertisements

To the station and back

A poppy near the church in Bittaford, and some more poppy buds and capsules further on. All along the verge there are patches of zigzag clover, which is less common than white and red clovers but is plentiful here. Note the tapering, pointed stipules and widely spaced brightly coloured petals. Another interesting flower is agrimony, its tall…

Sunny garden

Among the yellow rattle is a single bulbous buttercup. Even though it is common according to my book, I haven’t knowingly noticed one before. Its defining feature is downward pointing sepals but the leaves also look different from those of creeping buttercup, which tend to be mottled and not softly downy like these. At soil level, the stem…

Evening in the garden

My camera insisted on using flash on a bright evening, with some nice results. There is a wild patch under the sycamore tree where red campions are thriving, and also the last few early dog violets.

Biodiversity

I counted over 90 different species currently flowering between Moorhaven and Green Lane, starting with the weeds in our garden (1-36), progressing to Moorhaven communal gardens where Perforate St John’s Wort (37) and Dark Mullein (38) were growing in a weedy border (they could have been planted there originally), and then via Wrangaton Road to the…

Dandelions

Dandelions can reproduce asexually, without pollination, which means that a random mutation can create a new ‘microspecies’. There are several hundred of these microspecies but all have the familiar yellow flowers, toothed leaves and sappy stems. Despite their reputation as a persistent weed, dandelions have benefits for gardens attracting bees, moths and butterflies, particularly early in…

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

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…