Botanical Recording in Marden, Kent - 08/04/18

Marden is best known for its nature reserve containing thousands of Green - winged Orchids and the monad this is in is heavily recorded for plant records. However, as is often the case, the monads around and outside of the reserve had very few records. So I set about finding some to even things up a bit. Early Spring isn't the best time for high numbers of species, but I do find species that have disappeared by the time the warmer weather comes (sometimes called ephemerals). One such Ephemeral is the humble Common Whitlowgrass, which is in abundance during March, but has completely disappeared in Kent by May. Erophila verna s.s. Trees are always worth looking out for and their "flowers" make them easier to identify at this time of year. You will often find this tree next to (or in) water and this was by a wet water filled ditch.  It is of course the Alder tree.  This pho

Isle of Grain, Kent - 16/04/18

The easier to access parts of Grain are well recorded, however, there were a couple of monads with very few records, so my partner and I decided to walk to them to see what we could find. There were to the South and South East of the old power station (whose iconic chimney was recently blown up and demolished). The large flowers of Oxford Ragwort couldn't be missed with lots in flower along the sea wall. It's a lover of wasteground, railway tracks and other such places. Senecio squalidus Its leaves are well separated and more pointy than the blousy lobes which Common Ragwort displays.   With the cold Spring, I was hoping to find some ephemeral species that would be missed later in the year. This Sticky Mouse-ear is one such plant. Its main characteristic is the hairy close knit heads of flower buds that other mouse ears don't have. Cerastium glomeratum I kept an eye out for the Sea Mouse-ear, very easy to spot as it only has 4 (n

Hastings area - 02/04/18

This was really a day out to Battle Abbey with the grand children but I managed to find a few plants of interest as we drove around the area, though this will be a short blog. First find was a Cut-Leaved Dead Nettle, much harder to find than the usual Red Dead-Nettle. It's leaves are heavily serrated with big teeth and once you see one, you won't mistake a normal Red Dead-Nettle for this again. Lamium hybridum I found it by a concrete block at the River Rother flood barrier which stops the tide from going further inland, just north of Rye. Here's a habitat photo. All the following plants were found on Hastings sea front at the far Eastern end by the cliffs and boatyard. Those who know Hastings will know the area just from this view. Thrift always grows on the soil at the base of the cliffs, though at this time, it wasn't quite in flower yet. Armeria maritima Above the public toilets, Wallflowers decora