Friday 5 July 2024

Cornwall Botany - June 2024 Additions

 I managed a couple more trips before the end of June and I found some nice plants, so here's an additional blog to finish off June. I hope you like the selection.

Until I moved to Cornwall, I'd never seen Babington's Leek, but a few pop up here and there in coastal areas around Cornwall each year. This one was poking its way through Blackthorn scrub on the coast path at Trebetherick. They can grow to around three feet tall. You can find out more about it at https://plantatlas2020.org/atlas/2cd4p9h.kxp where it also explains the difference between the variants for you.

Allium ampeloprasum var babingtonii


It's time for carpets of flowering Betony again, with clifftop turf becoming a blaze of colour from these and other coastal species. Unlike the inland forms, these rarely grow much bigger than 6-8 inches tall.

Betonica officinalis


 Sheep's-bit looking perfectly blue as ever.

Jasione montana


I found two coastal sedges on the beach at Trebetherick too, in damp flushes where freshwater comes onto the beach. The first is Distant Sedge.

Carex distans



The second being Long-bracted Sedge, a more low growing sedge than the last with clumpy flattened utricles and a very long bract overtopping them.

Carex extensa



In those same damp flushes were stands of Common Scurvygrass. These plants are much bigger than Danish Scurvygrass and have more rounded leaves, see second photo below.

Cochlearia officinalis



The first Bell Heather coming into flower on the clifftops.

Erica cinerea


An arable field edge nearby had a few Weasel's Snout growing in them, definitely a great find.

Misopates orontium



Nearby were several Heath Groundsel plants just coming into flower. They can grow to around two feet tall and the flowers have small inrolled ray petals unlike normal Groundsel.

Senecio sylvaticus



Rock Sea-Spurrey was in flower on rocks along a beach. They are easy to tell apart from the other Sea Spurries, simply as their flowers are much larger than the other species and quite purple too. You won't find them growing in salt marshes either.

Spergularia rupicola



The last plants featured here for June were from a trip to Bolventor on the edge of Bodmin Moor. On a roadside wall were plenty of Wall-rue, Black Spleenwort and a few of these Rustyback Ferns.

Asplenium ceterach


On a rural road verge away from houses was a colony several metres long of a garden escaped Geranium species. It's the hybrid between French and Pencilled Cranesbills which I've seen a few times in the wild, but they were always pink with purple veins. So it was quite interesting finding a white variant.

Geranium x oxonianum



Fox and Cubs is an attractive plant that is also fairly common in Cornwall, usually on road verges and in churchyards. Here it was growing profusely along road verges on a slip road to the main A30.

Pilosella aurantiacum


I then went to some open access land nearby that included some boggy areas. Of note is that the OS map clearly showed the open access land but it was fenced off with a locked gate. As I approached it, I spoke to the landowner and explained what I wanted to do and he kindly let me in. I've often found the OS maps to be out of date and what was open access land is now private, so be warned.

Once in the boggy area, I saw lots of Heath Spotted Orchids, still in their prime, as being up high on the moor, they flower later than their lower altitude counterparts.

Dactylorhiza maculata


In amongst the Purple Moor Grass and abundant rushes were several flowering Marsh Willowherbs, perhaps the uncommonest and daintiest of our native Willowherb species.

Epilobium palustre




The first Bog Asphodels were in flower, shining like golden beacons in the bog.

Narthecium ossifragum




Both species of Cottongrass were in the bog, often growing right next to each other.

Eriophorum angustifolium - Common Cottongrass


 

Eriophorum vaginatum - Harestail Cottongrass


Marsh Woundwort was flowering in large numbers along the edge of the boggy area too, lovely.

Stachys palustris



Tufted Vetch adorning the road verges and hedgerows finish off my June offerings for Cornwall flora.

Vicia cracca



I hope you liked the selection of plants above, I've yet to go out in July due to several rainy days on the trot, but I'm sure I will find some nice plants out and about when the weather improves. Until then, take care and thank you for reading this blog.

Dave


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Cornwall Botany - June 2024 Additions

 I managed a couple more trips before the end of June and I found some nice plants, so here's an additional blog to finish off June. I h...