Showing posts from October, 2017

Shorne Woods, Kent - 10/09/17

Shorne Woods is within Shorne Country Park and I was most surprised to find that a large part of it had not been botanically surveyed. As such, I set off the short distance for a walk around the area. There are two well known rare plants here which were well documented and that I saw a month ago here as well. The first is Greater Bladderwort, an aquatic plant with lovely yellow flowers popping up above the water surface. However, under water, the stems have vacuum filled bladders. When a passing small insect (such as mosquito larvae or daphnia) touches it, it implodes, sucking in the nearby insect with ease.  Utricularia vulgaris The second rarity known here is the beautiful Violet Helleborine which grows in a few places on shady paths under the Beech trees. Epipactis purpurata Given that these rare species thrive here, I was puzzled why the area hadn't been properly recorded before. The following plants are some of those I photographed on my walk here, rec

Dungeness, Kent - 29/08/17

I often have a quick visit to Dungeness after visiting my Mother nearby, or if in the area. There is always something interesting to see and this day was no exception. Although it was late in the season, I hoped to find some Common Dodder (which isn't common at all anymore).  Its favourite hosts here are Wood Sage and Broom but all I found were plants gone to seed and pretty much dead looking. However, I perservered, and behind the power station I finally found some still flowering, parasitising Broom. Cuscuta epithymum Kent RPR species Nearby I found a tiny weird insect I'd not seen before. Apparently it was a Damsel Bug, unrelated to Damselflies! The photo isn't brilliant, but it was wafer thin and very small, so difficult to focus on. Of course, there were other plants in flower and I photographed a few.  This is Agrimony, often found on chalk grasslands. Agrimonia eupatoria Another stalwart of Dungeness is Viper's Bugloss

Botanical Recording near Sole Street, North Kent - 27/08/17

This is a short blog highlighting a few interesting species I found when out recording in this area. Much of the area comprised of heavily sprayed fields, however, I found a few gems around the edges, and in particular in the railway car park at Sole Street. First up was a pair of Euphorbias. The hedgerow verge to this byway produced numerous botanical records. It's a long way from habitation but a large naturalised garden plant was here. This is Leafy Spurge, a common garden escape, though usually found near habitation.  I suspect this may have been fly tipped in the past. Euphorbia esula The second Euphorbia was a rare native. As the path crossed a heavily sprayed field, I was amazed to find a single bushy specimen of Dwarf Spruge on the path. Somehow it had survived the spraying. With intensive spraying on most arable fields on the chalk in Kent, this has now become scarce and is a Kent RPR species. Euphorbia exigua S

Kingsdown Ranges, East Kent - 26/08/17

Given the length of time now elapsed my blogs are now, I suppose, somewhat historical! With Autumn well upon us following Storm Ophelia and Storm Brian, it seems rather odd writing about botanical finds from August. However, it's often the case with botanistss that May to September can be manic, with every piece of spare time devoted to finding species, or in my case, recrding as many species as possible in as much of Kent as possible. This left little time to write up my blogs. I've recently had a shoulder operation, so I can't get out  much until I heal. Hopefully, I will catch up now with my blogs, I hope you enjoy them. This blog will show some lovely plants I found at Kingsdown Ranges, in East Kent, a delightful area below the white cliffs, South of Deal. The sea wall here is old and has been breached in several areas. this has led to a small strip of salt marsh, unusually about 10 feet above the high tide mark.  The waves hit the wall and spray was