Covert Wood, Kent - 21/06/20

 This day was all about going to find some Wood Vetch for the first time, a rare plant in Kent and one I'd never seen before. I did plenty of research and headed out in the morning to Covert Wood in east Kent.

It didn't take long to find as it was close to where I had parked the car, but I literally had but one minute before the heavens opened and it poured with rain for a few hours. Given the Spring drought, I was pleased it was raining, it just made photography difficult as the camera is not waterproof.

It was rather like Goat's rue with which I am very familiar, but the flowers were far more attractive being all white with deep purple stripes up the standard petals. The leaves were unlike Goat's rue though and entwined vegetation to climb up to the light. Goat's rue has no tendrils.

Here's a photo of the whole plant with it scrambling up other plants to reach the light on a wide woodland path.

Ervilla sylvatica

I've included lots of photos as it is such a rare plant and one I may not see again.



 As you can see from the last couple of photos, the rain had now started!

 I walked on to see what I could find. It was interesting to see this Bugle plant in flower. They flower en masse in Spring and are long gone in most places by June. I have seen them before flowering in early Summer, but they are very rare.

Ajuga reptans

One of the public footpaths through Covert Wood. No worries about social distancing here!

Slender St John's wort looks good in the dry, but add in rain and it is a spectacularly beautiful flower. The subtle pink and yellow pastel colours softly diffused by the raindrops give it a surreal effect.

Hypericum pulchrum

Common in damp mildly acidic woodlands is Greater Birdsfoot Trefoil and usually in such places, Common Birdsfoot Trefoil is also notably absent. Being a hairy plant too, the raindrops stuck to them like on a spider's web.

Lotus pedunculatus

The third yellow flowered plant in a row was the Yellow Pimpernel, common in Kent woodlands.

Lysimachia nemorum

Here and there I found patches of Common Spotted Orchids, always a pleasure to see.
Dactylorhiza fuchsii

Three Speedwells finished off the photos from this wood. A bedraggled Brooklime to start off.
Veronica beccabunga

Wood Speedwell with its hairy all round stems.

Veronica montana

Finally, Heath Speedwell, Veronica officinalis with its jagged toothed leaves.

Back to the car and the rain stopped! Typical. Form here I drove to Lydden Down to have a brief walk along the roadside nature reserve to see what I might find. See next blog.

Take Care





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