A Day Out In East Sussex - 17th April 2017

I'm falling behind writing my blogs, having discarded several short trips with interesting flowers as they will now be well out of date. Much of my spare time is spent recording all wild plants (that I can name) for the BSBI 2020 Atlas. There's a lot of under-recorded 1km square grid squares (monads) and even those that are well recorded need visiting now to record all the Spring flowers. Anyway, I took a break from recording to venture into East Sussex. On the way we stopped at Matfield village pond in West Kent where I found the Bogbean well and truly in flower. They are a delightful, delicate flower and I wonder how they came to get such a name as Bogbean! Menyanthes trifoliata The next stop was Scotney Castle which I thought was in Kent, but botanically the house and castle are in Sussex . Not unusually I found Ivy-Leaved Toadflax on the old walls, however, finding an all white form was unusual, they're usual

A Day Recording in West Kent - 14th April 2017

Much of my free time is now spent recording plants in under recorded OS 1km map squares in east and West Kent. This is for the BSBI 2010-2020 atlas, see However, I will still detour to see some special plants that may be well recorded and today was no exception. First stop was High Rocks Lane, near Tunbridge Wells, just Kent side of the botanical Sussex border to see Coralroot and hopefully Large Bittercress. It didn't take long to find the coralroot. There are hundreds along the road verge and quite a few back from the road as well. They are similar to Cuckooflowers that abound everywhere, but Coralroot mainly propogates by dropping bubils. Thus they don't easily spread. The flowers are a deeper pink with narrower petals and the leaves are quite different as well to cuckooflower. In this photo you can easily see the bubils up the stem by each leaf node and also the leaves completely different to the pinnate forms on Cuckooflowe

The Amazing Early Spider Orchids of Samphire Hoe & Much More, Kent - 15/04/17

After the wonderful surprise the day before of finding four orchid species in flower including Lady, Fly, Common Twayblade and Early Purple Orchid (plus a variant), we set off to Samphire Hoe for a change of venue and somewhere nice by the sea for a walk. I didn't think there would be any Early Spider Orchids out yet. Many people had been studiously looking for them for the past few weeks and I hadn't seen any reported in flower yet. However, Samphire Hoe is a wildlife haven with plenty of other things to see, so finding an orchid wasn't the main purpose of the trip. There are always Stonechats here, a lovely little bird that sings it heart out. I couldn't get any photos today but I took this photo last year in Wales It's a great place for butterflies as well. Several Wall butterflies were seen (again photo is from last year) but proved elusive and they didn't settle long anywhere. Several of the Whites, a Red Admiral and what looked