Showing posts from May, 2017

Botanical Surprises near Detling Hill, Kent - 07/05/17

I had decided to record species in a couple of 1km square monads North of Detling Hill just off the busy A249. I didn't expect to find much, as most of the area is arable fields with the usual heavy use of weedkillers applied to them. However, there is some woodland within the area, and I did hope to find some undiscovered orchids on the chalk, but that was not to be.  Oddly, the star area for this trip was a layby! This was an area that was only occassionally cut with no evidence of old grass cuttings, no weedkillers or fertilisers and of importance, the locals seem to have dumped garden waste here over the years. Strikingly obvious to the eye, was a group of Pot Marigolds, with their bright orange flowers standing out from the green of other plants. Calendula officinalis flore pleno  The first Slender Thistle of the season was in flower here, no doubt it's name is from the flower as the plant can sometimes be quite fat (so to speak). so

Arable Wildflowers - Longfield - 04/05/17

I've surveyed the fields on the Gallops at Longfield a few times over the years and one might reasonably expect that there would be nothing new to see. These fields had been left fallow for a couple of years up to recently, so were full of arable wildflowers normally sprayed out of existence. The fields have a new owner and rumour abounds on social media as to the impact this will have. My main concern was the rumour that the farmer will be growing crops for supermarkets - thus leading to intensive fertilising and spraying on the poor chalk soils. so far this hasn't happened, the field has been tilled and nothing else. As a result, there's been an explosion on some plants there, as follows.  Fumaria densiflora This sea of purple stretched for about a kilometre! It comprises of millions of Fumitories,  the ones I examined found to be Dense-flowered Fumitory. Just to confuse, Common Fumitories were mixed in, I wonder if they hybridise? I expect so!

Orchids and Chalk Grassland Flowers - East Kent 29/04/17

I thought it would be a good time to go the the National Trust's White Cliffs of Dover area for wildflowers, so we set off in good weather, hoping for a great day out.  On arrival, we parked in the first NT car park and walked down a dodgy tiny path to the old tramway. There were sheer drops off the edge of it! You can just see it in this photo. As ever there were interesting views of the port and France was easily visible this day. Anyway, back to the wildflowers. The most obvious plant now flowering in their hundreds were Horseshoe Vetch. Hippocrepis comosa Also blazing the cliffsides with colour were many Wild Cabbages, pretty much only found in these habitats now in Kent. Brassica oleracea var. oleracea This photo close to the cliff edge shows Wild Cabbage, Wallflower and Hoary Stock all in the same photo. There were tiny surprises as well, like this Lesser Centaury, not even as big as