09 June 2015Pocket Park June 2015

The first few pictures are general views that clearly show the colourful display of wild flowers. Most of the yellow is Yellow Rattle with Buttercups mixed in. The pink Ragged Robin is a type of Campion with both white and red plants also growing nearby. The flowering Dogwood in the entrance is not a native but the Oxeye Daisy that surround it is. Gardeners will know the Dogwood flowers have bracts rather than petals.  There is purple and white Comfrey although both are now past their best. The Wallflowers are where the name suggests they should be, behind the wall. A wild Strawberry fights for existence in the grass. The Star-of-Bethlehem needs sun to make the flowers open so you may see them as the first photo rather than the second. Spotted Cat’s-ear is so called due to the spotted leaves. It is not a common plant and not easy to find either. Crane’s-bill flowers are beginning to open and with a little sun will make a splash of blue. Common Vetch can be seen in most places but there is only one Wild Aquilegia (Columbine). A few cultivars have crept in that will need to have their flowers removed before they seed. Lady’s-mantle is near the entrance whilst Bird’s-foot Trefoil grows in several places. A patch of Yellow Pimpernel can the seen near the stream. Alexanders are often seen on cliff tops near the coast rather than inland. it is a plant introduced by the Romans for culinary purposes as was Ground Elder. Fortunately the Alexanders are not as invasive as the Elder.

One grave has a patch of Danish Scurvygrass growing on the granite chips. This tiny plant usually grows above the high water mark on the shore as it is salt tolerant. We commonly see its white flowers on the central reservations of motorways where there is lots of salt. I have noticed English Scurvygrass, which likes the same conditions, at the edge of a few main roads for the same reason but this is a more substantial plant growing to about 150 mm with an umbel  of white flowers.

The Yellow Rattle flowers will become seed heads by next month and, hopefully, will be replaced by Crane’s-bill and Tansy and few others. This month probably has the highest density of flowers that there will be until next year. Flowers need to be removed from Keck (Cow Parsley for those not born here) and Hogweed to prevent them from becoming too prolific and causing the loss of other plants.

I have been pleased to see large numbers of grass hoppers that will provide food for the birds.


Dave Cooke

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