Flora: May 2014
‘Spring is busting out all over’ in the plant world.
Nearly 60 members of the Pea family, (Fabaceae), have been recorded in our area. These include peas, vetches and clovers. Some of them can be quite tricky but a couple of easy ones to start with are Red Clover, just beginning to come into flower now, and the distinctive Spotted Medick, with black botches on the leaves and a yellow flower. Look for these by roadsides and in grassy areas.
More local is the Greater Bird’s-foot Trefoil.
From a completely different family, (Roses – Rosaceae), this plant was only recently recorded for the first time in the Sandwich Bay area. It is Water Avens and it is growing by the Observatory Pond!
Another new find, (or at least a new locality), was the recent discovery of Cowslip growing in the Middle Field.
We often take plants for granted, but a walk along the Guilford Road to the Elms will be rewarded by this sight – really spectacular in close-up – of Horse Chestnut in flower.
Just near there, and also in the Little Gully and by Restharrow Scrape, you can find Hound’s-tongue, an interesting plant with greenish-grey leaves and deep purple flowers. It apparently gets its name either from the feel of the leaves, (like the tongue of a dog), of from the smell of its leaves when bruised – like a dog’s breath! Nice!
Along the beach, Rosy Garlic is now in full flower and Wild Clary was found growing near the Green-winged Orchid colony on St. George’s Golf Course.
Finally, roadside verges can often be very interesting places for all sorts of exotic plants to turn up and become naturalised. The stretch of the A256 near Stonar Cut is not the most scenic of places but it is turning up some interesting plants, including this Salsify.