Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Flamborough Head (VC61)

Yet again I have escaped my VC for a long overdue trip to the seaside and it turned out to be a great day with brilliant sunshine and much of interest.

North Landing, Flamborough Head

Stottle Bank Nook, Flamborough Head

All along the cliff tops were the mats of the coastal form of Lady's Bedstraw (Galium verum subsp. maritimum). Distinctive with its short height, contracted internodes and condensed panicle. The flowers are also a different shade of yellow to those of the common inland subspecies (subsp. verum), more straw yellow than buttercup yellow.

In rough grass and brambles at North Landing was this garden escape - Seaside Daisy (Erigeron glaucus).

Another daisy, this time the native Sea Mayweed (Tripleurospermum maritimum subsp. maritimum), was abundant on cliff edges and faces, as well as down by the beach at North Landing. 

Where arable farmland abuts the cliffs of Cradle Head there was a new plant for me - Hairy Buttercup (Ranunculus sardous) in its hundreds.

Even the thistles proved interesting with two distinct dwarf forms of coastal habitats. Its hard to judge if they are environmentally induced or if they are genetically distinct, but they were very uniform along kilometres of cliff edge. Creeping Thistle (Cirsium arvense var. maritimum) has single stems to knee height, highly convoluted leaves, and very a condensed inflorescence. While Spear Thistle (Cirsium vulgare var. litorale), second photo with the coastal glaucous form of Red Fescue (Festuca rubra subsp. juncea) was even smaller (see the Ribwort Plantain for scale) with a dense unbranched inflorescence.

Finally, lets end with a complete freak. This plant of Cat's-ear (Hypochaeris radicata subsp. radicata) had all the ligulate flowers replaced with elongated tubular flowers, giving it a very striking look.

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