Tuesday, 21 February 2017

February Highlights (VC31)

Brian Laney has sent the first records for 2017, following a recent botanising session at Peterborough Services of all places. However, as I know from my own experience, it is such places that often turn up the goods. Brian definitely did.

Brian's best find was Knotted Clover (Trifolium striatum), spotting it in its vegetative state. He sent this photo.

He also found several rosettes of Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera), offering the promise of flowers to come.

Other good finds for this part of the county were Spotted Medick (Medicago arabica) and Knotted Hedge-parsley (Torilis nodosa).

Knotted Hedge-parsley (photo by Pancrat, Wikimedia Commons)

Friday, 17 February 2017

Snowdrop Time

Its that time of year again when everyone should find some time to stop and enjoy the snowdrops. I had convinced myself they were late this year, but looking back to last year's post I see that they are about on track. Hopefully the cooler weather this year will keep them in bloom for as long as possible.

My regular spot for snowdrops is Oulton churchyard (VC63), and I've described the species present in more detail previously. So I'll stick to the photos this time.

Snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis f. nivalis)

flore pleno Snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis f. pleniflorus)

Green Snowdrop (Galanthus woronowii)

Elsewhere at Mickletown this charming dwarf (note sycamore leaf for scale) Snowdrop with tiny flowers was just coming into bloom.

Back in the churchyard there were a few plants of Crocus x luteus 'Golden Yellow' (syn 'Dutch Yellow') to add some zing to the late winter scene.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Fenugreek at Aberford (VC64)

I make no claims that the following is a wild plant, at least at this location, but it caused me much confusion and stretched the brain cells. So I post now in case it is of interest to others.

I found this cover crop of Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) sown around an arable field back in the summer. Its a short plant, less than 30cm tall with distinctive leaves and rather apologetic flowers. Its the kind of plant that might persist for a few years as a casual after sowing, very much as Phacelia (Phacelia tanacetifolia) is increasingly doing.