Headcorn South, Kent, TQ8343 - 26/05/19
The Low Weald doesn't get a lot of botanical attention so I intended to put this right with a visit to Headcorn. Parking at the station and walking a circular walk using public footpaths and roads - this is what I found.
Columbine is an awkward species to record as it is both a native and a garden escape.
Native forms should have blue flowers and long, curled spurs. This then is obviously a garden escape!
I commonly find it near gardens in various colour forms and usually with short spurs.
I had parked at the railway station and as I walked across the railway bridge to access south of the railway I found this plant on the footbridge!
This is Small Toadflax, a plant I'd only seen before in arable fields, but here it was effectively a pavement plant.
Hawthorn isn't necessarily straightforward, There are Hawthorn, Midland Hawthorn and the hybrid between the two to consider. However, in this case, this is just Hawthorn with one style and lobed leaves. But it was a vivid pink thus worthy of a photo.
Common Cudweed isn't common anymore. It is a Kent RPR species and any find is noteworthy. Whilst not in flower, it was nethertheless satisfying to find this species here.
When the footpath crossed the River Beult (pronounced Belt) I saw lots of this rush.
Blunt flowered Rush
Needless to say it wasn't easy to identify and I remain indebted to Steve Lemon of the Kent Botanical Recording Group for helping me with this one.
As is often the case when botanising, I came across an insect of interest. This one is :
Yellow barred Longhorn
This has massive antennae and is quite common at this time of the year.
The very poisonous Hemlock Water-Dropwort was coming into flower. A very common plant in damp habitats in Kent.
I do like bugs! Here's a Dock Bug
Grass Vetchling is aptly named as the leaves are much like blades of grass. When not in flower they become invisible. However, when the flower comes out they are a vivid purple colour and you then can't miss them.
A relative of the above is this plant with yellow flowers in a tight bunch.
I always have a quick look around as I cross a railway line, but don't wait around too long, it's dangerous!
Here is another plant that likes the damp - Celery-leaved Buttercup
The path criss-crossed the River Beult giving rise to some nice records, from Water Mint to Purple Loosestrife.
The Hemlock Water Dropwort attracted plenty of pollinators much like its land based cousin, Hemlock does.
Black Bryony is a very large climbing plant that is very common and sometimes mistaken for a Bindweed.
But when it is in flower, the spikes of tiny flowers are quite unlike bindweeds. They are very common, especially in hedgerows. At the time of writing (August) they are now showing with strings of green berries instead of flowers.
From the photos these look quite large, but they are in fact about the size of a 20p coin. These are Knotted Hedge Parsley, a common plant in coastal areas and also in lawns and short grassed areas.
Here was my favourite Speedwell which has the common name of Brooklime, but the amazing botanical name of:
A plant of wet areas.
Rosa canina agg.
So ended a very productive visit to th Low Weald in Kent, an under-rated and neglected area of Kent.