White Oxen and Zempson

Lots of crosswort in the damp meadows at White Oxen and hedgerows around Zempson. The first early purple orchids are flowering, and the first ragged robin, bugle, buttercups, and yellow pimpernel. Also in flower were lady’s smock, bog stitchwort, cornsalad, primroses, common dog violets, sticky mouse-ear, wavy bittercress, thale cress, daisies, germander speedwell, red dead-nettle and red campions….

Mini beasts

I’m still resisting the urge to sweep up leaves and pull up couch grass, to avoid disturbing hibernating hedgehogs and toads, so instead I swept the patio and disturbed smaller things. I’m pretty certain this is an Australian flatworm, which should not be in the UK as it eats our earthworms.     Another flatworm, this…

The end of August

A mix of late-summer flowers and autumnal fruits, with hedge bindweed stealing the show. Climbers like bryony and vetch are still hanging on, while persicaria, knotgrass, knapweed and the magically-named enchanter’s nightshade are in their prime. Early traces of autumn include blackberries, rose hips, hazelnuts and dandelion clocks.

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…