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 pl

Camber Sands, East Sussex - 08-09-18

I'm a regular visitor to Camber Sands thanks to taking the granddaughters out and about. While the youngest plays in the dunes (even in awful weather) I go for a wander to observe the flora. Even this view shot holds botanical interest as it shows the Marram Grass that stabilises the dunes. Ammophila arenaria Another plant that holds the dunes together, but spreads like wildfire is the Sea Buckthorn.  Hippophae fhamnoides It's large groups of orange berries are easily seen. I've yet to find it in flower, though I believe they are very small and insignificant compared to the berries. Here's a plant I didn't expect to see on the dunes, Hops! Of course, the hops themselves are the seeds of the plant. Humulus lupulus All the dune systems in the south east have been colonised by garden escapes and Camber was no exception. This is the garden version of Ox-eye Daisy, known as th

Ashdown Forest and Birling Gap, East Sussex - 01/09/18

The Ashdown Forest is a huge expanse of semi natural wildrerness, with vast areas of Gorse and Bracken. Hidden amongst them all are some beautiful wildflowers. Uness you're very lucky in stumbling across them, it's wise to get some help with locations. Either some helpful tips from other botanists (thank you to Brad Scott - Sussex Botanical Recording Society) or from researching books and the internet for clues. Flowering times can usually be found by others posting photos on social media sites. Books can be wrong with flowering times by a few weeks depending on the weather that particular year. This is the Marsh Gentian with its vividly blue flowers. A very rare plant and I believe, absent from Kent. It grows with other acid loving plants such as Gorse and Cross Leaved Heath. Gentiana pneumonanthe Heather was just coming into flower, looking great in the sunlight with a golden backdrop of Dwarf Gors