Sevenoaks - 04/11/18

With a lack of frosts I thought it would still be worthwhile to do some botanical recording, so I took a trip to Sevenoaks, or TQ5451 to be precise, to see what could be found.  I recorded numerous species both in flower and not in flower. Here's some of them. A small tree with hundreds of these brightly coloured seeds on it could not be missed. It's the Spindle tree which in spring has small non descript yellow flowers which can be easily missed! Euonymus europaeus Dogwood often flowers again at this time of the year with its reddening leaves, though in much smaller numbers than in late Spring when the leaves are green. Cornus sanguinea The occasional Perforate St John's Wort was in flower, though all were small, low to the ground  specimens now. Hypericum perforatum I was pleasantly surprised to find some Common Birdsfoot Trefoil in flower. This low to the ground photo shows the habitat - the roundabout at the junction of th

Orlestone Forest, Kent - 03/11/18

I've blogged about this venue before but in Summer when wildflowers were abundant along with a myriad of butterflies, dragonflies, bees and so on. This visit was in early November, and although relatively mild, the shorter days and colder nights had put much of nature to sleep until the spring. As such, I photographed anything I found of interest and not just plants in flower. A few Common Knapweeds demanded my attention; their intense purple/pink colours strikingly bright against the dull autumn backdrop of dead grasses. Centaurea nigra agg. Underneath these flowers is also definitely interesting. The bracts look rather like eyeashes or combs. Hemp Agrimony still looks very interesting although it's now in seed. These fluffy seed heads were a mass of tiny pink flowers a month ago. Eupatorium cannabinum A few Devil's Bit Scabious were still evident. Succisa pratensis The few flowers attract th

Seaford Head Nature Reserve, East Sussex - 24/10/18

This is a Sussex Wildlife Trust managed nature reserve on the west bank of the River Cuckmere and surrounding chalk grassland cliffs. Though this walk was late in the year, it is an excellent wildflower venue so I hoped to discover some late flowering jewels. This is the view on the walk down to the Cuckmere from the car park. I found Agrimony in seed, but none flowering, so perhaps I was too late for wildflowers here? Agrimonia eupatoria  Carline Thistles were also gone over, though when they are in flower they don't look a lot different! Carlina vulgaris Flowers that may grow to 2-3 feet at inland or sheltered sites were only a few inches tall here, no doubt due to being exposed to strong coastal storms. This is a dwarf form of Common Knapweed, but a rayed form. Check the leaves to tell it apart from from Greater Scabious which has lobed lower leaves. Common Knapweed has strap shaped leaves. Centaurea nigra