Ranscombe Farm & Rectory Meadow, Kent - 12/06/18

Ranscombe Farm is a wildflower delight and no matter what time of year you visit, you are likely to find something special and this day was no exception.

Very close to the car park in Longhoes Field were numerous beautiful Corn Cockles.

Agrostemma githago

A bumblebee on Red Clover (Trifolium pratense)

White Bryony draped itself around trees and shrubs on the field edges, with its tendrils tightly coiling other plants for support.

Bryonia dioica

This is Broad-Leaved Cudweed, an endangered species that plantlife has featured on its Back from the Brink project.

 See https://naturebftb.co.uk/ for details of this ambitious project.

Longhoes and Kitchen Fields have thousands of them, though this was the first in flower that I could find.

Filago pyramidata

Lucerne with its bright blue flowers lined the approach road.

Medicago sativa subsp sativa

The declining Common Rockrose was present along the field edges in large numbers.

Helianthemum nummularium

I think this was Flax but it could have been the rarer Pale Flax as both are present. I failed to note the diagnostic parts of the plant to determine the correct ID later - it happens!

Linum usitatissimum

There are all sorts of poppies here, including rarities. I didn't find those today, but there were plenty of Opium Poppies in full flower.

Papaver somniferum

Common Poppies were just beginning to put on a fine display.

Papaver rhoeas

My final photo from Ranscombe Farm was this Goatsbeard, a tall, stately composite flower that closes up as the afternoon wears on.

To be able to fold its flower in and out each day, the flower structure is layered like a pyramid, quite unlike Dandelions really!

Tragopodon pratensis

On the way home I popped into Rectory Meadow, a small local nature reserve in Hartley near Longfield. It's home to several rarities such as White Helleborine, Man Orchid, Stinking Hellebore, Slender Bedstraw and Dyer's Greenweed to name a few! Yet it's under threat of development and as a LNR has no legal protection at all.

Galium pumilum

Thought to be extinct in the county, I believe there are only 2 sites in Kent and this is a recently discovered venue for it.

The whole plant is very slender and a fraction of the size of Hedge Bedstraw which grows nearby for comparison.

A close up photo of Dyer's Greenweed. Much like a Broom flower and of the same family ( Fabaceae).

Genista tinctoria

So ended another wonderful day. I hope it inspires you to get out and see what you can find.



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