Reculver, Kent - 09/07/18
With history back as far as the Romans, Reculver lies on the North Kent coast and is relatively unspoilt by development, as such, there' always something of interest to see here. Habitats range from small pockets of salt marsh, brackish dykes, cracked concrete and earth sea walls, grassed areas and a rural road verge, so there's plenty of interest here.
Sea Mayweed can be found all along the coast, here it's growing on the edge of the main car park.
Strawberry Cover (a Kent RPR species) is abundant here in large colonies.
Great Plantain is often overlooked when flowering as it lacks petals and is very common. Often trod on or driven over, it's a tough little plant.
But look up close when flowering and you may see the delightful purple anthers.
Plantago major subsp major
Spiny Restharrow is also found here and is another Kent RPR species.
It tends to have two lines of hairs on the stems and narrower leaflets than Common Restharrow, along with vicious spines. The latter also sometimes (but rarely) found on Common Restharrow as well.
Spiny Restharrow nearly always has an upright habit and looks more like a small bush, whereas Common Restharrow is usually procumbent and lying low to the gorund.
I was then fortunate enough to find an all white flowered form, which is also very uncommon (in Kent). You can see the spines in this photo quite clearly.
Much of the East Kent coast is home to Tree Mallows and here was no exception.
The following photos are a close up of one of its large brightly coloured flowers and the last of one of its seedheads forming.
In one area was a huge mass of these plants, big and bushy with small but attractive flowers. They're a naturalised alien, the Duke of Argylle's Teaplant.
Here's another coastal speciality, the Narrow-Leaved Birdsfoot Trefoil. It really does look different, being upright and spindly, with pale yellow flowers and very narrow leaflets. I've also found big colonies of these inland near salted roads, such as at Northfleet by the A2.
The leaves of the plant to the left of the photo above belong to Plantago coronopus, Buckshorn Plantain.
More naturalised aliens were to be found here.
This was a large stand of the gorgeous looking Shasta Daisies. The flowers are much bigger than Ox-eye Daisies, but the leaves are very different.
Leucanthemum lacustre x maximum = L. x superbum
This plant is now a frequent sight all over Kent. I even spotted it growing in the central reservation of the M2 at Bluebell Hill while stuck in traffic recently.
It's the Broad-leaved Everlasting Pea.
The mature leaves should be quite broad as seen here, beware of new growth which can mimic the Narrow-leaved Pea, whose leaves are all at least 4 x as long as wide.
One of the fine views from Reculver.
Another alien, this time invasive, is Russian Vine. They look great in a garden draping over walls etc giving a fine display of sprays of white flowers.
However, they grow so fast they block out any other plants from growing and grow so fast they spread rapidly.
Furthermore, they can attack walls and foundations causing structural damage to buildings.
Wild Carrot going to seed. In places, it's still flowering as I write this (late October).
Daucus carota subsp carota
In coastal areas, check the leaves to ensure it's not a Sea Bindweed which have very similar flowers but with ivy like fleshy leaves.
In the top photos the other plant is a Sea Beet in flower
(beta vulgaris subsp. maritimum).
Another naturalised alien is the Buddliea often colourful and nicely scented. Butterflies seem to like it, though it can be a thug and dominate an area at the expense of native plants.
The pastel pink flowers of Black horehound comprise my final photograph from this trip.
I hope you enjoyed the flowers. There's still time to see many of them flowering even now in late October.