Romney Marsh Botanical Recording 22-07-18

The coastal areas of the Romney Marsh and Dungeness in particular, are very well recorded. However, go inland a bit and there are are opportunities to fill in the gaps for the BSBI 2020 atlas. Here's what I found this day.

I was hoping to find Lesser Water Plantain, but that was not to be. This is the regular Water-Plantain, identified by its large elongated leaves.

I then found an unrecorded colony of Marsh Mallow close to a very popular Romney Marsh pub.

Althaea officinalis

Here's a habitat photo, not exactly a beautiful setting, but a welcome sight all the same.

Arctium minus

Lesser Burdock, a very common plant, though it's always interesting looking for a Greater Burdock or a hybrid between the two.

It's surprising what can turn up, even on an arable field. This Borage was found next to  a large rubble pile that had been abandoned for years. No doubt the Borage seed came in with the rubble.

Borago officinalis

In the numerous ditches were plenty of the Kent RPR species Frogbit. It has small Lily like leaves and white 3 petalled flowers.

  Hydrocharis morsus-ranae

Gypsywort is common around water and here was no exception.

Lycopus europaeus

This was a nice find.

It's  Yellow Loosestrife, found in damp areas, this was in the margins of a farm reservoir.

The usual find is Dotted Yellow Loosestrife, a garden escape, but this one is native.

Lysimachia vulgaris

Purple Loosestrife is another lover of damp conditions.

Lythrum salicaria

Dwarf Mallow could be found in the arable field edges. The flowers are much smaller than Common Mallow and pale pink with darker veins. I can't see any difference in the leaves though, except they are always prostrate and smaller than Common Mallow.

Malva neglecta

Umbellifers can be hard work sometimes and this plant had me foxed for a while.

If you don't see a particular plant regularly, when one such plant shows up it can be perplexing, as this one was.

 However, it's form and habitat, growing actually in the water narrowed the possibilites down to Fine-leaved Water Dropwort, a plant I'd not seen before.

There were lots of them with extra thick stems and fine parsley like leaves.

Oenanthe aquatica

Then I found another umbellifer that didn't look like a usual plant seen.

Luckily I'd seen this one before at Sandwich, so knew it to be Tubular Water Dropwort with its distinctive rounded heads on short rays.

The leaves are quite rudimentary and quite unlike other umbellifers.

A Kent RPR species

Oenanthe fistulosa

This was an easy umbellifer to identify as there are only two species with yellow flowers commonly found.  

To determine which one you need to look at the leaves. Fine and feathery and it's Wild Fennel, big and opposite it's Wild Parsnip.

Pastinaca sativa

Perhaps one of the most impressive docks is the Water Dock with its very large upright leaves. The bonus being this one was in flower.

Rumex hydrolapathum

A large stand of Hoary Ragwort - the leaves hold the key to the differences in Ragworts as the flowers all look rather similar.

Senecio erucifolius

This is the flower of a Black Nightshade found on the edge of a potato field

Solanum nigrum

And very similar to the above is a Potato flower from the same field, but much bigger.

Solanum  tuberosum

A view of a typical habitat on the Romney Marsh, this is the White Kemp Sewer.

Tufted Vetch.

Vicia cracca

The Red Dead-Nettles have come back and are now in flower again. They'll continue throughout much of the winter.

Lamium purpureum

On the drive back I stopped at Long Ponds Dungeness to photograph some Sheeps Bit, a rare plaant in Kent.

Jasione montana

I hope you enjoyed the photos.


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