Longfield Chalk Bank - Kent - 28/09/18

This chalk bank is my local reserve and I walk it from time to time. It throws up some surprises as well as the usual plants. in the past I've found Knapweed Broomrape and Fine-leaved Vetch here.

Of course, on the walk there I'm observant to any plants growing out of pavements cracks and the like, such as this Snapdragon.

Antirrhinum majus

Here's a habitat shot. It was also  present in a nearby garden.

Another pavement plant was Shaggy Soldier.

 Galinsoga quadriradiata 

This could also be Gallant Soldier which is a much less hairer version of this plant. Exact determination is by examining the lobes of the chaffy scales between the florets.

Also growing out of a pavement crack was this beautifully pastel flowered form of Purple Toadflax.

I've seen this form a few times, but they are unusual.

Linaria purpurea

It's incredible how new plants can just pop up out of nowhere, or so it seems. I've walked this path many times and never seen this grass before.

Setaria pumila

I think this is Yellow Bristle Grass with its nutlets all dropped off.

After all this excitement I finally made it on to the reserve itself.

Lesser Burdock
Arctium minus

Black Horehound
Ballota nigra

The colourful fruits of White Bryony
Bryonia dioica

Cichorium intybus

After some time trying, I finally got some photos of the Ivy  Bee, a recent colonist to the UK.

Colletes hederae

An Eyebright in the shorter grassed areas.
Euphrasia agg

Dogwood putting on its second flowering display of the year.
Cornus sanguinea

Common Toadflax
Linaria vulgaris

Field Scabious
Knautia arvensis

The beauty of  Dandelions is they keep on inspiring even when in seed.
Taraxacum agg

I've saved the best find to last.

I last found this plant growing here in 2013 and not seen it since.

It's Basil Thyme, a Kent RPR species.

It grows in poor soils where competition is limited. It also needs disturbance to germinate.

There is only one small area suitable in this reserve with very short turf, so little competition from other plants.

The required disturbance was caused by rabbits digging.
 Clinipodium acinos

This walk showed me that there are always surprises in nature; whether it's finding new species growing out of pavements or the re-appearance of a rare wildflower, it's all fantastic to see.

Tale care


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