Thursday, 24 July 2014

Centaurea debeauxii

 Today I took a visit to Dyffryn Gardens west of Cardiff. The woodland walk had many open grassy areas. One of the common plants was Centaurea debeauxii (Chalk Knapweed).
 Many of the plants had rayed florets.
 Showing each phyllary lanceolate in shape
A large population. Chalk Knapweed seems common in many parts of South Wales

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Telekia speciosa at Llanelwedd

 Yesterday I took a visit to a quarry at Llanelwedd to survey Epilobium lanceolatum (Spear-leaved Willowherb) which I found in large numbers. None of my photos are good enough to put here. To my surprise I came across a stand of Telekia speciosa (Yellow Oxeye). If the information I have is correct this is the second record for Wales and the first for over 80 years. Telekia can easy be confused with Inula helenium (Elecampane), both grow up to 2m tall and both have similar leaves and flowers. Telekia is far more common in gardens these days than the Inula.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Last minute brambles place?

The brambles/ Rubus workshop is planned for next weekend (25th-27th July) at Rhyd-y-Creuau near Betws-y-Coed. The programme is looking really good, and if the dandelion/ Taraxacum workshop in April is anything to go by it will be very enjoyable.

I'm just posting here on the off-chance that there may be someone out there hoping for a last-minute place, as one of the participants has had to drop out, and so there is a spare single-occupancy bedroom available for the first person to email.

Unfortunately this coincides with the start of my maternity leave, so in my absence, if you are interested please contact Sarah Stille (an email address for Sarah is available on her county webpage as I don't want to put it in more places).

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

The Black Mountains

 Had a great day out at Tarren yr Esgob in the Black Mountains with the Monmouthshire and Brecon Plant Groups. 23 members attended. Didn't find the species I had hoped to survey, but did see some good fern species. A Grey Squirrel (above) seemed very surprised to see us.
There was lots of beech fern and a good number of patches of limestone fern (above)

 For me the best fern of the day was oak fern (above and below) as it is the first I have seen this year and we only found the one patch (in Monmouthshire)

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Looking for Wood Stitchwort along the River Wye

Yesterday I went surveying Wood Stitchwort along the River Wye in Monmouthshire. This site is as close to the English border as you can get, only the bed of a dried stream separates the two countries. The Wood Stitchwort was on the Welsh bank of this stream, only five plants were found.  
Many fields along the River Wye were blue, these were fields of borage, not a crop I have come across in the UK before.

Fig-leaved Goosefoot (Chenopodium ficifolium) was one of the weeds of the borage fields.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Campanula cocheariifolia - Fairy's-thimble

Stopped to take a look at a white plant growing on a garden wall at Defynnog. At first I thought it was going to be Harebell, but soon changed my mind. With the help of 'Stace' and the internet I ID my plant as Fairy's-thimble. The Fairies must have large fingers! This is a new alien species to me. Creeping along all the joints in the wall. All the plants had white flowers, apart from one clump which had blue.

Beech Fern along Afon Merchon, Cilycwm

I walked along the Afon Merchon today in search of Crepis paludosa (Marsh Hawk'-beard), but without success. There were several waterfalls, the one above had Beech Fern to the left of the fall.
Above Beech Fern